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Archive for Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jury deliberations in Joe-College.com case to continue Monday

A federal jury in the JoeCollege.com vs. KU case has taken a long break without delivering a verdict.

July 10, 2008

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— A federal jury in Kansas University's trademark lawsuit against Joe-College.com failed to reach a verdict Thursday but will continue deliberating Monday.

The eight-member jury will not meet Friday because of a previous commitment by one of the jurors.

KU and its trademark enforcement arm Kansas Athletics Inc. has sued Larry Sinks, owner of Joe-College.com, 734 Mass., and T-shirt printer Clark Orth.

KU claims Sinks' merchandise infringes on KU's registered trademarks and tarnishes the school's reputation because some of them have messages such as "Muck Fizzou."

Sinks said he goes to great lengths to inform customers that his T-shirts are not sponsored by KU, and that they are intended to reach a niche market.

KU has asked the jury to order Sinks to pay KU $509,000 - $476,000 in profits from the T-shirts and $33,000 in royalties - and to assess an unspecified amount in punitive damages against Sinks and Orth.

The jury must wade through lengthy court instructions concerning trademark litigation and consider more than 200 T-shirts that KU has disputed. The jury started its deliberations late Wednesday after a seven-day trial.

KU's associate athletics director Jim Marchiony attributed no meaning to the jury working all day without reaching a verdict.

"I think the only thing it says is they're reviewing the evidence thoroughly and they want to make a good decision," he said.

Jim Tilly, the attorney representing Sinks, agreed.

"Everybody anticipated it would take them awhile because of the 200 T-shirts and more than 60 pages of jury instructions," Tilly said.

"It shows they are being deliberate and taking the time to look at the evidence and consider the instructions," he said.

Comments

notajayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

brujablanco (Anonymous) says: "Hey! Leave Marion alone - he has to hussle a buck somehow."Who was picking on Marion? I appreciate the post he made. When I said "Kansas Drinking Team" wasn't registered, it's true, because they have not registered the trademark with the Patent Office. But it's also true, as Marion pointed out, that you don't have to register a trademark with the Patent Office to claim it; if you're using it in business you can still establish rights to it. (You can not use the symbol ®, but you can put TM on it.)However, according to what I've read on the USPTO's website, it's much easier to enforce and you have a much higher degree of protection if it's registered. I'm not a lawyer, and my comments are my own understanding of what I've read, but I would think the same rules apply (I'm too lazy to look up the federal statute and check); you can only use it on specific products. I still think that if the person or company that claimed "Kansas Drinking Team" is selling T-shirts and collectables with that mark, they'd have a hard time suing someone in another state or offshore who sells automotive accessories carrying those words, if the claimant has never been in that business and can't demonstrate that they had any plans to.A company that goes into business may have some obligation to check the federal registry, but I doubt they have an obligation to check every page on the web to be sure nobody has published a claim to the trademark. Plus, the burden is on the person who claimed the trademark to stop using someone else from using it. Just like JoeCollege, that someone doesn't have to go to court to claim the right to sell widgets using those words, they just have to start doing it. The company claiming the trademark would then have to prove they had been using that trademark on widgets or at least had some bona fide intent to. However, Marion's post brings up an interesting point. Whether it's registered or not, if this company or person has established a legal right to "Kansas Drinking Team," then KU doesn't have much of a basis for suing JoeCollege for selling shirts that say that, do they? ;)

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 9 months ago

Bru:Yeah.And irritate KU as I am so very, very disappointed in the place.

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brujablanco 5 years, 9 months ago

Hey! Leave Marion alone - he has to hussle a buck somehow.

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notajayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

"You can claim for what you state until some court tells you that you can't and in the meantime, in order to challenge the claim, someone has to put up a bunch of bucks to sue you."Well, no, not exactly. All that someone has to do is start selling one of the items you don't and never have, and then you'd have to sue them to get them to stop. As evidenced by the current case - JoeCollege didn't sue the University for the right to sell "Our coach can eat your coach" T-shirts, they just started selling them, and the University has to sue them to stop them.Also, from what it appears to say on the USPTO website, if it isn't registered with their office, then the person claiming the trademark can't even sue in federal court, and there's no guarantee that another state will recognize the claimant's ownership of the trademark.

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bhenick 5 years, 9 months ago

@Take_a_letter_Maria - thanks for clearing that up.In other words, KU has no sense of humor and the defendants are being bloodyminded.These facts, while unfortunate, make a great deal more sense than the impression I got from the article.

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 9 months ago

notajayhawk wrote:"you have to have a "bona fide intention to use the mark in commerce on or in connection with all the listed goods and/or services."Marion writes:Ahyup!You can claim for what you state until some court tells you that you can't and in the meantime, in order to challenge the claim, someone has to put up a bunch of bucks to sue you.Wait until you see the next one!

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notajayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

I was referring to the fact that the term is not registered with the USPTO. While registration is not mandatory, according to the website:"You can establish rights in a mark based on legitimate use of the mark. However, owning a federal trademark registration on the Principal Register provides several advantages, e.g., - constructive notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the mark; - a legal presumption of the registrant's ownership of the mark and the registrant's exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods and/or services listed in the registration; - the ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court; - the use of the U.S registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries; and - the ability to file the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.So while registering it with GoDaddy and staking a claim to the trademark is a legal claim, it's a whole lot more enforceable if they register it with the USPTO. Also, I'm not sure just saying, on a website, that any challenges have to happen in Wyandotte County within ten days of their saying so or the challenges are void bears any legal weight. And they also may have over-extended themselves. I'm pretty sure you can't just claim the trademark on every product under the sun - at least you can't when you register with the Patent Office. You either have to already be using the trademark on those products or you have to have a "bona fide intention to use the mark in commerce on or in connection with all the listed goods and/or services."

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 9 months ago

(11) Trailers for autos, cars,trucks, motocycles, scooters, bicycles;auto, bicycle, scooter, truck and motorcycle accessories of any kind.

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 9 months ago

(10) Luggage, breifcases, carrying case, purses, wallets, containers of any kind for any purpose, including cans, bottles, kegs, flasks, barrels and boxes.

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 9 months ago

(9) Ashtrays, smoking accessories of any kind.

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 9 months ago

notajayhawk wrote:"By the way, "Kansas Drinking Team" is not registered, although "United States of America Drinking Team" is. I wonder why the federal government hasn't sued those guys for tarnishing the name and goodwill of our fine country?"Marion writes:Au Contraire, notajayhawk!"KansasdrinkingteamDOT com and "KansasdrinkingteamDOT info have just been registered with GoDaddy and the registered owner claims copyright to both names under full force of applicable law and trademark for the use of the term "Kansas Drinking Team" on the following:(1) Wearing apparell of any kind.(2) Shoes, boots, slippers, sandals; foot wear of any kind.(3) Cups, Mugs, Glasses, Vacuum Containers and ice chests; coolers.(4) Can insulating devices of all kinds; coozies.(5) Seat cushions, chairs, tents, blankets, warmers, umbrellas, tarpaulins and covering devices of any kind.(6) Keychains, earrings, finger rings; jewelry of any kind.(7) Dog collars, dog warmers, dog kennels, leashes, dog and cat training programs, pet accessories of any kind.(8) Automotive accessories, including but not limited to:keychains, bumper stickers, windshield stickers, tires, replacement parts, custom manufactured parts, spoilers, wings, wheels, flares, decals for automotive and truck window glass.This post shall constitute public notice of such claims under full force of law; reprinted elsewhere and counter-claimants agree that jurisdiction of challenges to such claims will reside in the District Court of Wyandotte County, Kansas and that all such claims shall be filed with the specified Court of Competence within ten days of this notice or claimants shall be forever barred from action.

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notajayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

A further note on what I've discovered on the USPTO's website: While KU may have the rights to T-shirts saying "Jayhawks," that does not necessarily prevent others from using that word in certain combinations, e.g. "Jayhawk Girl"; were that the case, then owning the trademark "Kansas" would prevent Kansas State University, the Kansas City Royals, the Kansas City Star, Kansas Propane, Good Morning Kansas, The Kansas City Cookie, Time-Warner Cable Kansas City, Destination Kansas, and countless others from registering their own trademarks.By the way, "Kansas Drinking Team" is not registered, although "United States of America Drinking Team" is. I wonder why the federal government hasn't sued those guys for tarnishing the name and goodwill of our fine country?[Incidentally I apologize as I've just found out those links are dead - you just get a 'Sorry this search has exoired' error page. Just click on the blue (gee, looks like KU blue) button at the top that says "Trademarks" and then "Search" on the next page, and enter the word or phrase or term you want to search for.]

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notajayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

"KU did, however, copyright the word and, thus are entitled to protection under the law and an award of damages from any that infringe upon it."Well, had I consulted an attorney, the first thing he would have pointed out that I was using an incorrect term - the same one you did. A word isn't 'copyrighted,' it can be registered as a trademark. And while KU does have three such registrations for the word "Jayhawks," the word "Jayhawk" is a registered trademark belonging to the Jayhawk Manufacturing Company of Hutchison, KS. And the word "Kansas" is a registered trade- and service mark of the University of Kansas for some things; it is also a registered service mark of the KS Dept. of Commerce, a trademark for guitars made by Westheimer (in Illinois), with a specific lettering style for entertainment services provided by the band Kansas , and of course by countless other companies and agencies in combination with other words, including Kansas City, Kansas State, Kansas Speedway, The Bank of Kansas, etc. etc. etc..http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=toc&state=oqkdie.1.1&p_search=searchss&p_L=50&BackReference=&p_plural=yes&p_s_PARA1=&p_tagrepl%7E%3A=PARA1%24LD&expr=PARA1+AND+PARA2&p_s_PARA2=jayhawk&p_tagrepl%7E%3A=PARA2%24COMB&p_op_ALL=AND&a_default=search&a_search=Submit+Query&a_search=Submit+Queryhttp://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=toc&state=hkmu28.1.1&p_search=searchss&p_L=50&BackReference=&p_plural=yes&p_s_PARA1=live&p_tagrepl%7E%3A=PARA1%24LD&expr=PARA1+AND+PARA2&p_s_PARA2=Kansas&p_tagrepl%7E%3A=PARA2%24COMB&p_op_ALL=AND&a_default=search&a_search=Submit+Query&a_search=Submit+QueryYes, more than one entity can register the same word or words. That's because (another thing an attorney would have mentioned) the word itself does not belong to whoever registers it. The protections only apply to the specific products listed on the application to register the trade- or service mark.From the USPTO's website: "You must list the specific goods/services for which registration is sought"In other words, if KU asked for a trade- or service mark to sell T-shirts, and only T-shirts, saying "Jayhawks," nothing would prevent me from selling hats that say "Jayhawks."Now, KU does indeed have a registered trademark for using the word "Jayhawks" on the kind of products JoeCollege.com sells. But they apparently are no longer using that term, and whether they were or not doesn't even seem to be the current issue. The issue currently being deliberated is whether their current products without specific use of the trademarks are infringements. As for the 'quote from Judge Robinson's ruling on the Motions for Summary Judgment,' I don't suppose you'd be kind enough to provide a link? It would be nice to see that quote in context, and whether she said it herself as part of her findings or whether KU said it as part of their allegations.

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Marion Lynn 5 years, 9 months ago

bad_dog:Hate to tell you, Bud but you got your facts wrong!The first known image of the Jayhawk bird dates from 1912 and this according to KU's own site!:http://www.ku.edu/about/traditions/jayhawk.shtmlMore from that site:"Mascots are believed to bring good luck, especially to athletic teams. Just about every college claims a mascot. The University of Kansas is home of the Jayhawk, a mythical bird with a fascinating history. Its origin is rooted in the historic struggles of Kansas settlers. The term "Jayhawk" was probably coined about 1848. Accounts of its use appeared from Illinois to Texas. The name combines two birds--the blue jay, a noisy, quarrelsome thing known to rob other nests, and the sparrow hawk, a stealthy hunter. The message here: Don't turn your back on this bird."Marion writes:KU claims trademark and copyright on a term which originated one-hundred-and-sixty years ago?Yeah right!KU simply bullies and bluffs people into believing that KU owns something that it does not own!KU may own its own versions of the Jayhawk but I assure you that any such claim is going to be challenged, regardless of the outcome of this case and I have personal knowledge of that fact!

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bad_dog 5 years, 9 months ago

"You are welcome to visit the site and locate a Jayhawk on any of the shirts. I have visited the website and store and have yet to see a shirt with the word Jayhawk. The judge was misled as to what the shop sells. The reference to the school is impossible to deny, but they do not infringe on the trademark of the Jayhawk in any way."-trobstrobs, they may very well not be doing so now, but they have in the past. Judge Robinson saw evidence-in fact I believe the defense even stipulated to this (I can't recall this exactly and I'm not going to go look it up again on Friday afternoon). Your comment regarding "...the reference to the school is impossible to deny..." is also a dangerous position to advocate when considering we are litigating over issues such as similarity of goods and confusion by consumers.Later-it's Miller Time-oops who and where do I pay??

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bad_dog 5 years, 9 months ago

"Should I hire a lawyer?"-notajayhawkYes, your failure to capture the essence of the legal dispute certainly indicates you would benefit from the input of counsel. You should also pay attention to what you are told by that lawyer. I'm not making this stuff up. It really doesn't matter whether you cited an actual example or a "hypothetical" example. The outcome, i.e. the answer is the same. And you're right, the resemblance between the real animal and the manufactured one that looks like the real one isn't infringing on a trademark. That's because there isn't one on the real animal to infringe upon. Otherwise the animal kingdom would be hiring attorneys to bring infringment actions all over the world.You're also correct that KU didn't coin the term "Jayhawks". That word was reportedly first used in the Kansas territory in the late 1840's. KU did, however, copyright the word and, thus are entitled to protection under the law and an award of damages from any that infringe upon it. The Jayhawk character was created by Hal Sandy in 1946. He sold the copyright to KU for $250 in 1947. Thus KU also has the legal rights to the image."The problem with the other part of your rebuttal - and some people's earlier arguments - is that it has been clearly stated over and over in this story and others and the associated posts that the store is not using the Jayhawk logo, either in image or name."The problem with your analysis is that it completely contradicts that which I quoted from Judge Robinson's opinion above in which she found: "The Joe-College.com business sells blue T-shirts that display the following verbiage: "Hawks," "Kansas," "Jayhawk," "Kivisto Field," "Allen Fieldhouse," and "Beware of the Phog."Please take special notice that Judge Robinson specifically found Joe College sold t-shirts with the very wording you deny-"Jayhawk". She didn't dream this up-the ruling is based on the evidence and testimony presented to her.There is a difference between a "logo" and a "name". One is a pictorial depiction and the other is a proper noun. Nevertheless, both the Jayhawk "logo" and the name "Jayhawk" are trademarked and thus, protected from infringment. It doesn't matter whether you or I like that fact. It doesn't matter whether we think it is fair. It only matters that they are protected images and words and you can't use or appropriate them without licensing or suffering the repercussions.I take no inference or offense from your user name. Everyone chooses theirs for a reason personal to them. Have a good weekend.

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yankeelady 5 years, 9 months ago

I love "Muck Fizzou" it didn't seem appropriate for my age however, so I bought it for my kid. And it did not come form Joe College, i think it was Jayhawk Spirit. It was a big hit and is still a popular item in her wardrobe.

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notajayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

Incidentally, my own screen name has nothing to do with whether I am a student or alumni of the school or a fan of their sports teams - it merely refers to the fact that I am not a native Kansan.Should I hire a lawyer?

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notajayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

bad_dog (Anonymous) says:"Part of the problem with your hypothetical is the fact you are talking about real animals and reproductions of those actual animals versus a mythical creature created by another that holds the legal rights to that design."Part of the problem with your rebuttal is that my post wasn't hypothetical, it was an actual example. And as I already said, whether or not I buy a stuffed animal that looks like my old school mascot because it looks like my old school mascot, the manufacturer/retailer is not necessarily infringing on anyone's registered trademarks.Another problem might be that KU did not create the mythical creature known as a Jayhawk - while the Foghorn-Leghorn-looking depiction of that creature in the school colors might be copyrightable, the term Jayhawk probably can't (by itself - it may be when in combination, like "Jayhawk basketball"). As I'm sure you realize, people from Kansas have been calling themselves "Jayhawks" since before KU existed, and I seriously doubt KU could win a copyright infringement case against the people who, for instance, use that word in their screen names.The problem with the other part of your rebuttal - and some people's earlier arguments - is that it has been clearly stated over and over in this story and others and the associated posts that the store is not using the Jayhawk logo, either in image or name."KU does not own a registered trademark for the word "Hawk". They do own one for the words "Kansas" and "Jayhawk"."Does the Dept. of Revenue have to pay the university for putting the word "Kansas" on my drivers license? Did the federal government ask the university's permission before minting that state quarter? How about the tourist items, sweatshirts and T-shirts and whatever included, that have nothing to do with the university or its sporting programs? My brother-in-law has a humorous poster hanging in his restaurant in Vermont with a skier speeding across the top of a wheatfield - should I tell him he has to call Mr. Marchioni for clearence?How about the history books that refer to that mythical bird, half Blue Jay and half sparrow hawk, that certain guerilla bandsthat raided Missouri took as their moniker, do they have to pay a licensing fee, too?

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monkeyspunk 5 years, 9 months ago

Here is a problem,Jayhawk was a term coined before the creation of the University of Kansas. The university of kansas took that mascot because of its meaning, which is more or less, someone from Kansas. To me, and I am sure there are people much more familiar with the law than me will disagree, the word Jayhawk should not be able to be trademarked, regardless of the fact that it is a made up bird. From the Kansas Athletics website:http://kuathletics.cstv.com/trads/kan-jayhawk-history.html"The term "Jayhawk" was probably coined about 1848. Accounts of its use appeared from Illinois to Texas. The name combines two birds--the blue jay, a noisy, quarrelsome thing known to rob other nests, and the sparrow hawk, a stealthy hunter.""During the 1850s, the Kansas Territory was filled with such Jayhawks.""During the Civil War, the Jayhawk's ruffian image gave way to patriotic symbol. Kansas Governor Charles Robinson raised a regiment called the Independent Mounted Kansas Jayhawks. By war's end, Jayhawks were synonymous with the impassioned people who made Kansas a Free State.""In 1886, the bird appeared in a cheer--the famous Rock Chalk chant."I know the court case goes beyond just the use of the word "Jayhawk" but I thought this would put the whole thing in a little better context.

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Trobs 5 years, 9 months ago

You are welcome to visit the site and locate a Jayhawk on any of the shirts. I have visited the website and store and have yet to see a shirt with the word Jayhawk. The judge was misled as to what the shop sells. The reference to the school is impossible to deny, but they do not infringe on the trademark of the Jayhawk in any way.

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bad_dog 5 years, 9 months ago

"Jayhawks is a trademarked design."-trobsThat is true."Joe College does not use any shirts with the words or logo of the Jayhawk. Everything says Hawk, Lawrence, or Kansas."-trobsThat is not true. From the above referenced opinion issued by Judge Robinson:"The Joe-College.com business sells blue T-shirts that display the following verbiage: "Hawks," "Kansas," "Jayhawk," "Kivisto Field," "Allen Fieldhouse," and "Beware of the Phog."Several of these words and phrases are protected under trademark or state registration laws."Everything says Hawk, Lawrence, or Kansas. That is not in violation of a trademark on the Kansas Jayhawk trademark."-trobsThat is true only with respect to the licensing on the design of the Jayhawk itself and the word "Jayhawk"-not the rest of the similarly trademarked words that are protected. Would it make any difference to you if you were aware of the following quote from Judge Robinson? "On February 27, 2006, Sinks applied for a federal trademark registration for the "Kivisto Field" mark for use in connection with certain apparel. At that time, Sinks was aware that KU's football field would be named Kivisto Field."Is that opportunistic capitalism-trying to fairly compete or the trademarks equivalent of cyber-squatting?

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dweezil222 5 years, 9 months ago

Trobs (Anonymous) says: Making the t-shirts in no way infringes on KU's ability to overcharge for education.==========================Well said.

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bad_dog 5 years, 9 months ago

"You can only trademark colors in terms of your business. I cannot start a shipping company and use brown. I could however start say a chain of restaurants called the Brown Shoe. Trademarking color only applies so as not to confuse customers on different products."-trobsThanks for re-stating the points of my previous post. I see your position has now morphed from "you cannot trademark a single color to you can only trademark colors in terms of your business. While I disagree with your premise, even if we assume it is true, is it your position the University of Kansas and particularly Kansas Athletics, Inc. (co-Plaintiffs) are not businesses?KU, in addition to being a state university of higher education engages in activities such as advertising, textbook and supply purchases and sales to students, sales and licensing of commercially marketable memorabilia, land acquisitions and sales, etc. To give you an idea of the magnitude of what's involved in the t-shirt and memorabilia "business", here's a quote from Judge Robinson's ruling on the Motions for Summary Judgment: "KU's licensed products are marketed in almost every conceivable type of media, including on the internet. Sales of licensed products bearing KU's "Kansas" and "KU" marks contributed to the more than $12 million in wholesale sales, and at least $20 million in retail sales of licensed KU products in 2006 alone.""It would be impossible to confuse UPS with a food joint, thus it would be allowed. In the case of KU, it is a T-shirt maker vs a place of "education" ".-trobsThe point is not whether the public confuses a university with a t-shirt maker/seller. I agree, that is highly unlikely. The point is whether consumers see, buy, wear, etc. merchandise sold by Joe College and believe these products are licensed or endorsed by KU, an entity that also licenses and places such goods into the stream of commerce-for profit.

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Trobs 5 years, 9 months ago

Jayhawks is a trademarked design. Joe College does not use any shirts with the words or logo of the Jayhawk. Everything says Hawk, Lawrence, or Kansas. That is not in violation of a trademark on the Kansas Jayhawk trademark.

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bad_dog 5 years, 9 months ago

"Everything printed in blue on this website isn't associating itself with KU and making money off the athletic department. Joe College is."-fu7il3"No, they're not. They're making money off of their customers."-notajayhawkWhy do the customers at Joe College buy a t-shirt there? Is it just because they need an article of clothing? No. They purchase these items because ot their identification with and ties to a certain university. That's why the shirts have the themes, names, phrases and colors chosen by Joe College. Otherwise, all they would have is a storefront on Mass full of blank t-shirts. The same kind you can buy at any department store."I occasionally buy various items that remind me of certain things from the schools I attended. The one I am particularly attached to also has an animal mascot (albeit a real, not mythical, one)"...etc.Part of the problem with your hypothetical is the fact you are talking about real animals and reproductions of those actual animals versus a mythical creature created by another that holds the legal rights to that design. Let's say you graduated from Easter University and the "Bunnies" were your team mascot. No, you probably couldn't trademark rabbits, but if there was a particular design for the mascot-e.g. a "Fighting Bunnies", you probably could trademark that and protect it from unauthorized usage by others. If someone else wants to print t-shirts with the "Fighting Bunnies" on it or refer to "Fighting Bunnies" on it, they're probably going to either pay a licensing fee or face litigation over it if they fail to cease and desist upon request.

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Trobs 5 years, 9 months ago

You can only trademark colors in terms of your business. I cannot start a shipping company and use brown. I could however start say a chain of restaurants called the Brown Shoe. Trademarking color only applies so as not to confuse customers on different products. It would be impossible to confuse UPS with a food joint, thus it would be allowed. In the case of KU, it is a T-shirt maker vs a place of "education" (I use that term loosely). Making the t-shirts in no way infringes on KU's ability to overcharge for education.

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autie 5 years, 9 months ago

Does that mean if KU should prevail in this insanity that the NCAA will turn around and sue "white owl'? He sported every color of the entire NCAA membership. Are there that many acorn trees on oread?

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bad_dog 5 years, 9 months ago

"KU cannot copyright the color blue. They cannot copyright the word Hawk."-trobsKU does not own a registered trademark for the word "Hawk". They do own one for the words "Kansas" and "Jayhawk". Trademarking derivatives of other trademarked names, i.e. "Hawk" is usually not permitted. This doesn't necessarily grant another the right to use the word by default, particularly if there is the potential for confusing the consumer. "Nope! You cannot trademark a single color. You can trademark a design. KU's only design is the Jayhawk."-trobsYes, you can trademark colors. Owens-Corning "Pink" fiberglass.UPS and "Brown".This doesn't mean you can't paint your daughters' bedroom pink anymore, it just means other fiberglass insulation manufacturers can't produce pink insulation. This protection is afforded to prevent an entreprenuer from manufacturing pink insulation in an attempt to confuse a consumer into buying their product rather than from the Pink Panther. As for UPS and "Brown"; Fed Ex or DHL can't identify their services/personnel by running around in brown uniforms and panel trucks.

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Trobs 5 years, 9 months ago

You can do that legally though. Mangino could sue over his likeness. Joe College is not using any KU logos or designs. Trying to sue because of implied association is a weak case.

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fu7il3 5 years, 9 months ago

If you don't think Joe College is associating its shirts with KU, you are dellusional. What coach do you think they are talking about eating your coach?

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notajayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

fu7il3 (Anonymous) says: "Everything printed in blue on this website isn't associating itself with KU and making money off the athletic department. Joe College is."No, they're not. They're making money off of their customers.I occasionally buy various items that remind me of certain things from the schools I attended. The one I am particularly attached to also has an animal mascot (albeit a real, not mythical, one), and I have various artwork, figurines/statues, even stuffed versions for my children, of that animal (as well as quite a collection of more specific and licensed merchandise). But just because the very purpose of my purchase was to display my pride in the athletic accomplishments of my former school, the manufacturers and/or retailers of those items are in no way obligated to give a commission to the university - even if they stuck a blue-and-white sweater on it.

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fu7il3 5 years, 9 months ago

Everything printed in blue on this website isn't associating itself with KU and making money off the athletic department. Joe College is.If they started printing t-shirts in powder blue that referenced Zack Grienke and said something like "Cuck the Fardinals." The Royals would probably throw a fit, as well.

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Trobs 5 years, 9 months ago

notajayhawk (Anonymous) says: "Should I assume that the administration at KU endorses everything on this website that's printed in blue?"Nope! You cannot trademark a single color. You can trademark a design. KU's only design is the Jayhawk.

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notajayhawk 5 years, 9 months ago

mom_of_three (Anonymous) says: "Because the t-shirts are the same blue color as those marketed by the University, people assume the University markets them and puts them out."Should I assume that the administration at KU endorses everything on this website that's printed in blue?

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storm 5 years, 9 months ago

rbs, for your t-shirts, how bout "JoeCollege for Athletic Director" and/or "JoeCollege for Chancellor"

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rbs 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm a KU grad and I like KU . . . for the most part. . . but if the university wins this lawsuit I'm going to make it my personal mission to make a bunch of home-made, iron-on decal shirts that say exactly the same thing as the Joe College ones. . . I'll sell them on the black market and never use my real name. . . just so that people can continue to have shirts that make people laugh. This is a ridiculous lawsuit that is merely a waste of time. The amount of money spent on lawyers and litigation on KU's part probably could have paid for several bright scholarship students to attend KU for free. . . but then they would probably study Journalism and the 1st amendment (like I did.) Oh the paradox of being educated. . . .

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Trobs 5 years, 9 months ago

KU cannot copyright the color blue. They cannot copyright the word Hawk. This is a great amount of stretching by KU. Hoping that the Jury will agree because the shirt is blue and implies KU without directly stating it, they will win. Sadly, KU has approved other shirts that the bookstore at least use to sell with similar sayings on them. Someone mentioned in the comments yesterday that the defense brought those shirts out and stunned KU's lawyer.

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fu7il3 5 years, 9 months ago

Yeah...KU wants its one dollar licensing fee...

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sherbert 5 years, 9 months ago

How can KU use the defense that the muck fizzou shirt tarnishes it's image when, from what I've heard, Jayhawk Spirit was selling the same shirt, sanctioned by KU? KU just wants money and is pissed off because some of the t-shirts make rude comments about KU coaches.

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Take_a_letter_Maria 5 years, 9 months ago

bhenick - to answer your first question, the lawsuit was not filed this year. The lawsuit itself actually started a couple of years ago so it is not because they won the NC or the Orange Bowl.To the second question - the individuals were given an opportunity to stop pushing these items without much penalty prior to the case going to trial. They chose not to do so in the belief that they would win over KU's claim. That was their decision, they are grown-ups, if they fail it was their choice.To those asking about the Cubs, Rangers, Royals, Dodgers, etc. I would direct you to the thread on the story earlier this week where one of the other posters - who may or may not have some legal background - discussed these items as well as K-State, Iowa, etc.

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BorderRat 5 years, 9 months ago

If KU win this, I see a big market for the Luck Few shirt.

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Royals 5 years, 9 months ago

The Royals blue and the KU blue are pretty much the same color too....

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Will Babbit 5 years, 9 months ago

None of the shirts that I've seen in there are anything but colored T-Shirts with words in a normal font printed on it. There are no Jayhawks, there are no KU logos, no fonts trying to look like the Beak Em Hawks shirts, nothing.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 9 months ago

It's a frivolous lawsuit wasting court time. KU could cut the cost of the their merchandise to be more competitive instead of screwing over local small business. KU retail margin must be huge. If folks want quality GEAR label they know where KU stores are located. That color blue is all over the planet so what's the carrots?

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LawrencePothole 5 years, 9 months ago

This isn't free speech, and only those already with an agenda against KU think it is. You see, Joe College knows what it is doing. They blatantly stole the John Brown tshirt design and tried to sell it in their stores until they were told to cease and desist. That's what kind of business all of you people are sticking up for.

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Lee Eldridge 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm not saying that KU should win as I'm not familiar enough with copyright law or how / if these shirts infringe on their rights, but it's important for EVERY business to defend its patents / copyrights / trademarks. If you don't defend them, you lose them.I would guess that it's the "design" of the shirts, not just the choice of words and colors, that has given KU some just cause for the suit. If the "design" too closely mimics real KU licensed apparel, they probably have a legitimate case. Keep in mind that this suit not only protects KU's trademarks, but all of those businesses who have gone through proper channels to become licensed to sell KU-related merchandise.

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BigPrune 5 years, 9 months ago

You mean the liberals of KU don't want to allow free speech for certain individuals? The television news media seems to interview people on the street who take KU's side only, or so it seems, everytime I've seen an interview. Last night, Channel 9 had some freaky looking downtown dweller type straggly hair doo'd older woman taking KU's side. I saw the same thing happen on the award winning Cable6 News a few weeks ago, except it was a man. Maybe these people are just jealous of success.

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bhenick 5 years, 9 months ago

Everything about this makes sense, except for two points of interest.First, these slogans have been on shirts for a lo-ong time. Why does KU choose to clamp down on the meme now? I don't doubt that the raised national profile of KU athletics have a lot to do with it, but let's face it - said profile has never been especially low, what with the perennial contender of a men's basketball team. So I gotta imagine that somebody's taking this personally because they have too much free time on their hands.Second, the clampdown is unconscionable on a personal level - KU's demanding the privilege of taking EVERYTHING, lock, stock, and barrel. If they were going after some faceless corporation, that'd be one thing... but according to the article, what they want is to drive two more or less normal guys into bankruptcy with the stroke of a judge's pen. Common sense tells me that KU's demands are nothing more than a negotiating position - "we want to make an example out of these guys, let's see how far we can take it." Even so, that demand comes across as totally out of control, especially when you consider that there's not really any bad faith (that I can see) on the part of these guys.Wow, I wrote this entire comment without spewing at the university. I'm amazed.

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dweezil222 5 years, 9 months ago

MLB, good point about the Cubs. Or for that matter, the NY Rangers.

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FFAF 5 years, 9 months ago

KU needs to not win this suit. Joe College makes it pretty clear that the shirts are not trademarked by KU. Having an alternative and sometimes offensive option for your school's gear is part of any college town.

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MLBaseball 5 years, 9 months ago

Ok so if KU is suing Joe college over the use of the word hawk do the have plans to sue the University of Iowa for than numerous number of T-shirts with the work hawk? Why not K-sate because they use the word Kansas, why not the Cubs because they use the same color blue. I swear if KU wins this suit I will...ok I got nothing, but I won't be happy.

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mom_of_three 5 years, 9 months ago

Because the t-shirts are the same blue color as those marketed by the University, people assume the University markets them and puts them out. Some have smart sayings, some do not. And unless it's printed on every shirt that it is not marketed by KU, the general public doesn't know it. ONly the person who has purchased the shirt knows it. And I don't plan on buying a Muck Fizzou shirt, or allow it on my kids. I don't care how the lawsuit plays out, but I understand KU's position.

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dweezil222 5 years, 9 months ago

I like the slogan, particularly since I used to work for that particular evil empire.

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TheOriginalCA 5 years, 9 months ago

Hey Dweezil, how about "Muck Wal-Fart?"

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janeyb 5 years, 9 months ago

It seems like KU said ESPN didn't want to put the camera on the KU Students during the KU/MU game if students were wearing the "Muck Fizzou" shirts. It might damage some poor little kiddie out there watching in TV land.

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OnlyTheOne 5 years, 9 months ago

I was under the impression KU gave the Muck Fizzou t-shirt away for either a football or basketball game and ESPN hated it but I must be mistaken.

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dweezil222 5 years, 9 months ago

I don't understand this crap about how the "Muck Fizzou" shirt tarnishes KU's reputation. Let's play with a hypothetical here. Suppose I create a shirt that says "Tuck Farget." Is Wal-Mart going to sue me because I've somehow tarnished their reputation by badmouthing a competitor? No. Why? Because the argument has no merit, no basis in any kind of rational fact. Nor does the shirt infringe upon any trademark rights of KU in any way. It doesn't use the Jayhawk logo, doesn't mention KU in any way. And to those of you who find it offensive, don't buy one. But that can't be used as an argument to ban their production either. For you who doubt me, I invite you to read the Supreme Court's opinion in Cohen v. California (403 U.S. 15).

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