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Archive for Monday, July 14, 2008

Jury finds for KU in Joe-College lawsuit

Ian Legler, an employee at the Joe-College.com store in the 700 block of Massachusetts, works on phone orders last week as the store battled Kansas University's claim of copyright infringement. As he filled orders, he had to tell customers not all orders could be filled pending the verdict. On Monday, the jury gave KU a partial victory, but attorneys for Joe-College.com said the verdict would allow the store to remain open.

Ian Legler, an employee at the Joe-College.com store in the 700 block of Massachusetts, works on phone orders last week as the store battled Kansas University's claim of copyright infringement. As he filled orders, he had to tell customers not all orders could be filled pending the verdict. On Monday, the jury gave KU a partial victory, but attorneys for Joe-College.com said the verdict would allow the store to remain open.

July 14, 2008, 4:38 p.m. Updated July 14, 2008, 6:35 p.m.

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JoeCollege.com ordered to pay but will stay open

The verdict is in, and a Lawrence t-shirt shop battling KU over trademark infringements will be allowed to stay open. Enlarge video

— "Muck Fizzou" lives but "Our Coach Can Eat Your Coach" is T-shirt history.

That was part of the outcome Monday from a federal jury in the lawsuit filed by Kansas University over T-shirts sold by Joe-College.com, 734 Mass.

The jury found that Joe-College owner Larry Sinks infringed on KU's trademark. It ordered payment to KU of $127,337 in profits and royalties from the store.

U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson also ordered the store to stop selling about 50 types of T-shirts that the jury found infringed on KU's trademark.

But both sides claimed victory.

Everybody wins

Sinks' attorney, Jim Tilly, noted the decision was far less than what KU wanted.

KU had raised allegations against 206 of Sinks' T-shirts, and wanted between $509,000 and $476,000 in Sinks' profits and $33,000 in royalties, plus punitive damages.

KU said many of Sinks' shirts were so much like official KU merchandise that the public was confused about whether they were sanctioned by the school.

But Tilly said, "The jury was able to discriminate that the vast majority of these (T-shirts) were not associated with the university."

Tilly said about 75 percent of the shirts that KU questioned were not in violation of any trademark. Sinks will stay in business, he said.

KU, however, also said it was pleased with the jury's work.

"They came to the conclusion that we did, that the defendants were willfully infringing on our marks," said Jim Marchiony, associate athletic director at KU.

Asked about the fact that the jury award was far less than what KU sought, Marchiony said the important part of the case was the finding that Sinks had infringed on KU's trademarks.

Athletic Director Lew Perkins said he was pleased the judge ruled to prohibit further sale of the shirts deemed infringing upon KU trademarks.

"We will continue to fight to protect our trademarks, because it is important to the university, our students and the hundreds of licensees and retail partners who respect our trademarks," Perkins said in a statement.

Tilly said Sinks may seek to have the damages reduced, but that decision had not been made.

Complex verdict

Both sides said they were confused about why the jury picked some shirts as infringing while allowing others to continue to be sold. In fact, some of the shirts that had the word Kansas on them were stricken by the jury, while others were not.

It was a complex case that centered on whether the public could be confused about whether Sinks' products looked like official KU merchandise when he didn't have a license to sell official product. Testimony also covered numerous trademarks that KU held, such as the words Kansas and Jayhawk, and phrases, such as Rock Chalk Jayhawk, and whether Sinks was allowed to use the school colors.

After a seven-day trial, the eight-person jury received court instructions from Robinson that took more than an hour to read. Robinson said the jury verdict form contained 800 questions. The jury deliberated for two days.

Jury members declined to speak to the media after leaving the courthouse.

Some shirts must go

Some shirts that were seen as offensive were tossed by the jury while others weren't. "Our Coach Beat Anorexia" was allowed, but "Our Coach Can Eat Your Coach" was determined to be infringing.

And the jury allowed "Muck Fizzou," which KU claimed tarnished its image.

Marchiony said he was disappointed the jury didn't weigh in favor of KU on that one.

"Obviously we would rather that shirt not be in the marketplace, I'm not going to pretend otherwise," he said. "I guess there will always be a market for tasteless shirts."

During the trial, Sinks testified that he did everything possible to tell customers that his shirts were not sponsored, affiliated or licensed by KU. He has more than 200 signs in his store that inform buyers of that.

But Charlie Henn, an attorney representing KU, said Sinks' admission of having numerous disclaimer signs posted in his store indicated he is infringing on KU's trademarks.

"Why would he need 200 signs in his store if this weren't a problem?" he asked.

'It's all in fun'

After the verdict, Joe-College customers and passersby said they were disappointed KU was awarded money and that some of the shirts will be taken off the market.

"It's all in fun," said Joe Nasternak, 21, a KU senior, who was perusing shirts at the store. He said he has several shirts created by Joe-College.com. "I don't like K-State and I don't like Missouri, so what's a T-shirt going to hurt, you know?"

Another KU student agreed.

"None of them really have the Jayhawk logo on there. They have signs all over the store saying this is not officially licensed," said Kent Brown, 22, a KU senior, who was with Nasternak. "It seems like they're doing their part. I don't know what else the university wants from them."

Erin Adams, a manager at Joe-College.com, said she didn't know the details of the verdict, but "I feel like we won because I get to keep my job. I'm just happy we're still here."

Staff writer Alexander Parker contributed information to this story.

Comments

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

penguin (Anonymous) says: "Feel free to read the entirety of the post next time."Why, I did, penguin. Well enough to know that your original post included the names of two stadiums that were already registered, not the name of two campus buildings."I just thought it was a little ridiculous that someone else could trademark an entity owned by another individual or organization."Whereas KU just claims the right to the name of the entire state.

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 6 years, 5 months ago

Justice is served. Its a fair verdict. So now you cry-babies can get worked up about something else.

kuhusker 6 years, 5 months ago

I suspect if it is blue and has the word Kansas on it, then it infringed, but the non-blue ones did not. I guess go to the store in a week and see which shirts are missing!

davidsmom 6 years, 5 months ago

Again, the issue was not whether or not the shirt-buying customer mistakenly thought he was buying officially-licensed merchandise but whether or not the people who saw the shirts thought they were sanctioned by the University. So the defense of having all the signs in the store was no defense at all.

BIGBEAR 6 years, 5 months ago

KU_cynic (Anonymous) says: "It's hardly a victory for KU Athletics. After figuring in attorney fees KU is in the red on this fight"Pretty sure the state of Kansas paid for this. it is a State school... our tax money paid for every bit of the KU side

pimp11 6 years, 5 months ago

Sorry, but I all ready have rights to "my college will sue you" I will sue again if i see it on a shirt.Lew Purrrkinns

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

And if you don't think this is a case of KU thinking they own the rights to anything related to the entire state, let alone the university, you might ask yourself why Kansas State University and the University of Western Kansas registered the entire names of their schools, while KU was arrogant enough to register "Kansas."Oh, forgot - and the letter "K."

George_Braziller 6 years, 5 months ago

Damn. I was hoping that the University bully would finally get its butt whooped. I'm a KU grad but the University has just been ugly(ier) and nasty(ier) to the Lawrence community over the last ten years or so. Just reinforces my resolve to NEVER give a dime to KU.

Shardwurm 6 years, 5 months ago

'Higher education' is the biggest fraud in the country.Perhaps we should sue the University for charging $900 for a class that is taught by a Grad Student.

BigAl 6 years, 5 months ago

Blah, blah, blah.... the man was breaking the law. Period. Even if you fine folks don't like it, there are infringement laws in this country. Do you honestly think that Sinks wasn't cashing in on the university?I admit, KU has definitely had a pr problem of late but finding Sinks guilty was the right verdict. I agree that if Sinks didn't think he was doing anything wrong, he wouldn't have posted the sign a gazillion times.

davidsmom 6 years, 5 months ago

If you all hate KU so much, then why don't you transfer somewhere else? You can whine all you want, but the jury has spoken. There is a reason why copyright laws exist, and in this case, the precedent was more important than the amount of money specified in the verdict. I buy licensed merchandise because I want my money to go to the University or to KU Athletics. You want to enjoy the benefits of these entities but you don't want them to protect their exclusive right to make money from their brand, and then you complain about how much they cost you. You children can't have it both ways. Grow up.

Kman_blue 6 years, 5 months ago

This comment is ridiculously circular in it's "logic".from the article:""Why would he need 200 signs in his store if this weren't a problem?" he asked." Said by Jim Marchiony(associate AD) in regards to the signs stating that Joe College was not selling officially sanctioned university apparel. Geeze, the university breathing down his neck threatening a law suit for 2 years had absolutely nothing to do with it. I'd bet the signs were all in response to letters and legal rumblings from the university and not any real confusion the public had about what they were buying. I for one immediately knew his shirts weren't "official" university apparel. It was blatantly obvious by the very nature of the shirts that they weren't. I certainly hope this was not part of the legal argument made in court.For those who make the argument that they would rather support their university's athletic department by buying official university sanctioned apparel, the vast majority of the money made by selling that apparel goes to private companies and individuals who are making and/or selling them and not the university. You'd be much better off making a direct donation to the university. Lastly, the idea of filling a lawsuit where "...you take as many opportunities to punch the opposition as possible even if it means that you have to have token strike outs..." is a legal strategy largely employed by those with deep pockets against those without such deep pockets. It's not a justification of the lawfulness or correctness or morality of a legal decision. A large company based somewhere in the pacific NW with the initials of M an S uses it quite often, even when they are the ones in violation of patents. This strategy is also designed to bankrupt or force the smaller "poorer" party involved to settle with more favorable conditions to the larger "richer" party. It's not a strategy necessarily designed to get "justice" it's designed to make things go your way, one way(legal) or the other(practical by force of your money/power).

chet_larock 6 years, 5 months ago

" I have no desire give my money to an athletic department that has nothing better to do with it's time" .. or money. Lots and lots and LOTS of money.

spenmar 6 years, 5 months ago

15 Minute ParadeTrying to get the city to pay for lost revenue at holidome for cancelled dinnerTrying to stop the paradeSuing a T-Shirt Guy Selling Artifacts out of Allen Field House online auctionNot having a parade for football team (greatest season ever)What a year Lew Perkins has had! And he gets to fly around on a private jet on your dime!!Larry Sinks needs to higher a better law firm.......did you ever hear of PARODY......all major lawsuits from Record Companies against artists who did parodies of songs or artists....ALL LOST.......Larry Sinks brought a cap gun and Lew Perkins brought a machine gun to the fight.....Hey Larry....get a HIGH POWERED LAW FIRM AND WIN THIS!!!!Its about a PARODY. JOE COLLEGE ARE THE FUNNIEST SHIRTS TO EVER HIT LARRYVILLE....NOW SELFVILLE!

Poon 6 years, 5 months ago

KU needs to sue Barack Obama! He did after all use the word "Kansas" in a political ad! (Gasp) Doesn't Obama know that the word "Kansas" is not in the public domain?

overthemoon 6 years, 5 months ago

geeswhy not just print 'official ku licensed paraphanalia' on all 'real' ku merchandise?I am with the commenter on last night's thread that asked 'why does my university have 'branding' issues? What is with this obsession with 'branding' these days?? Seems a university ought to sell itself on excellence in education and credibility for students in the marketplace after graduation...not overpriced tshirts and shortshorts. With an inferiority complex a mile wide, KU consistently forgets to focus on the fact that its a quite decent school in a great town for a bargain price. Branding done. The athletics help, but they ain't the whole story.When I was at KU as an undergrad, the Watkins Berger/Summerfield scholarships were a full tuition deal. My child got one, and it was only half tuition...for one of the top 100 students in KS (who didn't go someplace else). The endowment is huge, and the branding is protected, but there is no money for the top students??? But they are fighting with big money over t-shirts. The inferiority complex seems to be a self-fulfilling nightmare.BTW, the only t-shirt my student bought last year was from JoeCollege...in honor of Sasha Kaun, it read "gotta love a tall White Russian" I like it!! I offered to by a 'real' NCAA Champ shirt, and was told 'no way, they're too expensive'.

devilsrighthandman 6 years, 5 months ago

I am disappointed in my alma matter. A lawsuit over the color blue?! It also sounds like this may be a personal taste debate. If someone wants to put something on a shirt that offends you or your corporation and you take it personal and sue.....then you do not understand the concepts that this country was founded on. I saw a bumber sticker yesterday that was completely tastless, but I did not follow them home and deliver lawsuit papers to them. If Larry used the logo, or the actual university name then fine, slap him with a bill for some money, but Our coach ate your coach?!! Have you seen the man? He is a big boy....and his sandwich at Quintons is a heart attack. By the way, did they pay for the rights to use his name?

Dani Davey 6 years, 5 months ago

Actually Tilly is right, they are lucky that only 50 of the shirts were found to be infringing. I suspect KU will appeal before Sinks will.

1Patriot 6 years, 5 months ago

Joe college went about it all wrong. He should have hung a #2 pencil on every hanger with a sign that read, "Buy a pencil for $10.00 get a shirt for free!" After all KU only went after him becuase he was making money on the shirts, if your giving the stuff away they can't bitch!

Jay_lo 6 years, 5 months ago

notajayhawk (Anonymous) says: "And, apparently, correctly so, since KU wanted him to 'cease and desist' selling over 150 shirts that the jury thought were just fine."Unless you have more information than I, all you are basing your argument on is the number of designs that were submitted in the lawsuit.As the OriginalCA has stated, "3/4's of KU's allegations being wrong is not a big deal. When you file a law suit, you take as many opportunities to punch the opposition as possible even if it means that you have to have token strike outs. You get to go to the plate for every claim. The more at bats you get, the more hits you get. Batting average means nothing."I'll bet again that KU would have settled for a cease and desist involving a lot fewer shirt styles than they ended up suing over.Once it became clear that he had no intention of recognizing their legitimate claim they probably decided to go all out with the intent to shut him down instead of having to go through the same process again every time he comes out with another so called original idea.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Hey spinmar. KU athletics pays for that jet. Your dime has nothing to do with it, so don't try to make yourself sound so important. If you don't like it, stay home. KU has done more for Lawrence than can ever be paid back by YOU. Give it a break.

fu7il3 6 years, 5 months ago

Now the interesting part.Can Mizzou sue Joe College over trademark infringement to kill the Muck Fizzou t-shirt? Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, all of them.

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Marion (Marion Lynn) says: "How KU can trademark a term which has been in existence since the late 1840s and by every other standard, should be in the public domain is beyond me."Just look in the Yellow Pages for companies which include the term..."As previously mentioned, "Jayhawks" is a registered TM of KU, but the singuler - "Jayhawk" - is a registered TM of Jayhawk manufacturing in Hutchison.******Gina (Gina Bailey-Carbaugh) says: "how is it warped? A jury if your peers deemed JoeCollege in the wrong and that is justice."Well, first, they also found that three-quarters of KU's allegations were 'in the wrong.' And I can't speak for logic, who I'm sure has reasons of his own for his statement, but in my own opinion, I believe the jury followed the law - but the law is wrong. Following the law is not always the 'just' thing to do.

KURocks 6 years, 5 months ago

Hey Mom of Three, were you one of the jurors on the O.J. trial by chance.BigBear, LMAO, what a great line, nice job.So is KU going to start going after the businesses in town that have "Jayhawk" in their name. Jayhawk Guttering, Jayhawk Pharmacy, etc, or are they just picking on Larry cause he pissed them off.

Newell_Post 6 years, 5 months ago

Juries obviously have no business deciding anything more complex than "did or did not farmer Roe's dog kill farmer Doe's sheep?" That was what the jury system was designed to handle. This verdict was obviously reached by 8 people too stupid to get out of jury duty. It makes no sense at all on any level.

Nikki May 6 years, 5 months ago

All it makes me want to do is go buy shirts at joe college.

california 6 years, 5 months ago

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!I gotta say it! I TOLD YOU SO! Larry's shady business practices finally caught up with him. UNANIMOUS!KU WINS AGAIN. Larry, cut your losses. Don't "sink" any more money into this case. Do I need to say it 200 TIMES, you idiot? Rock Chalk Jayhawk. This was a slam dunk!

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

"So KU sometimes owns he term "Kansas"? YesOr all the time? NopeOr maybe none of the time? NopeHow can KU trademark the name of the state? Not gonna waste the time 'splainin it again.Absurd! Well, at least you got that part right...Marion-it ain't so just cause you say so. Otherwise your words would be the rule of law and no one would ever need to do anything but consult you. The parties and the attorneys made their arguments, the judge and the jury considered the evidence/testimony and issued a ruling. You do, however, have quite a history of ignoring the obvious. Quit barking at the moon:

wysiwyg69 6 years, 5 months ago

get some good slogans ready to print for the sidewalk sale and you can probably pay ku off in one day. do not let ku get off without making ku pay for it in the end

TheOriginalCA 6 years, 5 months ago

3/4's of KU's allegations being wrong is not a big deal. When you file a law suit, you take as many opportunities to punch the opposition as possible even if it means that you have to have token strike outs. You get to go to the plate for every claim. The more at bats you get, the more hits you get. Batting average means nothing.

kuhusker 6 years, 5 months ago

"The t-shirts are rude and inappropriate"Well, then,they should be illegal. As the First Amendment states, the right of the people to not ever be offended by anything shall not be infringed.Oh, wait. That was in Opposite America.Sorry.

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Jay_lo (Anonymous) says: "I am willing to bet that he was given the option to cease and desist before this ever came to a lawsuit. If so, then it was his choice to fight to defend his infringement practices..."And, apparently, correctly so, since KU wanted him to 'cease and desist' selling over 150 shirts that the jury thought were just fine.

Linda Aikins 6 years, 5 months ago

I just scanned these, so I apologize if someone already posted this.Want to know which shirts survived? Look at www.joecollege.com. The available ones are still there, and when I looked earlier, there were only 99 available, when I believe he used to have way more.

pimp11 6 years, 5 months ago

It would still say/have "ku" printed on it. So, I would be suing you right now for even mentioning that.Thats the whole point. Nice try with "not a ku licensed merchandise"Lew Puuurrrrkkkkkinnnz

dweezil222 6 years, 5 months ago

I just think this verdict has the potential for abuse of free speech, if it isn't itself such an attack. What happens when KU's facilities people, sick of the crappy wages, go on strike demanding a raise? Are they going to be sued for their "Screw KU" picket signs? Are student groups going to be banned from printing T-shirts to protest something the administration royally screws up?

Gina Bailey-Carbaugh 6 years, 5 months ago

logic, how is it warped? A jury if your peers deemed JoeCollege in the wrong and that is justice.

Crossfire 6 years, 5 months ago

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d_prowess 6 years, 5 months ago

As I believe someone pointed out in one of the many previous stories about this lawsuit, KU potentially would be forfeiting their right to defend their trademarks and brands in the future if they choose to ignore what Joe College was doing. Also, it seems a lot of people are upset because the lawsuit was against a "t-shirt guy." Would people have felt different if Wal-Mart designed and sold similar shirts? Just curious. And I think the ruling was probably about right:

Fishman 6 years, 5 months ago

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that KU gets an 8% royalty fee when an item using a KU logo etc is sold at the wholesale price. For instance a shirt that retailed for $20.00 would be $10.00 wholesale. KU would get 80 cents. It might be different for different goods, I can't honestly remember. Someone that knows want to chime in on this.

kwjayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

I like the My college will sue you shirt. That one needs to be for sale.

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

"Most of the anti-verdict messages on this board are based on nothing but emotions like anger and resentment. Most of those doing the complaining made up their minds in advance of the jury's deliberations and care nothing about the actual laws involved."-bennyoatesbenny, well said-I feel your pain... Might I add that most of those doing the complaining made up their minds based on what they read and heard from others. While that methodology isn't inherently evil, it is susceptible to partial disclosure, bias, perceptions, etc. It appears that several of the posters could care less about what the law states and run 100% on emotions/perceptions. While I appreciate they are upset and I don't necessarily blame them or completely disagree with their discontent, I suspect many of them would not be quite as irritated if they took the time to both read AND understand the issues. We have rules, regulations, ordinances and laws for good reasons. They help order and protect our society and provide guidelines and enforcement capability for those who need assistance. If you don't like the laws be responsible, educate yourself about what it takes to change them and go do something about it. Quit barking at the moon...

Kman_blue 6 years, 5 months ago

From the article: "After a seven-day trial, the eight-person jury received court instructions from Robinson that took more than an hour to read."notajayhawk wrote:"...It appears KU has 19 currently live registrations, including Kansas, KU, and the letter K. Yes, the letter K. Also, Jayhawks, Kivisto Field, Allen Fieldhouse, and The Phog. Oh, and let's not forget "Uncommon Doctors...""I think these 2 quotes illustrate one of the real problems with this lawsuit. The insanity of the current copyright and trademark laws(as well as the patent laws). I mean come on, a jury instruction that takes 1 hour to read aloud! That's beyond insane! The copyright and trademark laws of this country are so obtuse and ambiguous and irrational in many ways that they allow for ridiculous claims of infringement as well as allowing ridiculous things to be trademarked or copyrighted. For those who say something along the lines, if you don't like the law, change it. Well, federal laws once established become extraordinarily difficult to change. Look at the overwhelmingly unpopular law of prohibition, which took 13 years to repeal! Of course prohibition was an amendment to the constitution and thus even more difficult to repeal, it still illustrates the difficulty of changing/repealing any federal law, no matter how insane or illogical it is.Another problem I have with this lawsuit, is that in many ways the jury was asked to judge what is tasteful and what is not tasteful, rather than what is lawful and what is not lawful. Another jury hearing the same case with the same insanely long jury instructions it seems could of come to a very different list of which shirts were "infringing" which shirts were not.

yellowhouse 6 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

ontheotherhand 6 years, 5 months ago

Confrontation, you could be the Poster Boy for idiots. Oh, and if you think KU doesn't charge people to use the KU trademarks (and for much more than $1), then, please, come over to my house so I can sell you the oceanfront property I have south of Lawrence.

institches 6 years, 5 months ago

Hmmm, I guess I better watch out if I wear a blue T shirt. Is this really a win-win? Me thinks it is a lose-lose; Bad PR for KU- Bad wallet busting for Sinks.At least SInks isn't sunk.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

Are Jayhawk Apartments colors infringing on KU rights? How about local private housing colors and/or trim? The party bus?Perhaps KU ought to provide all who purchase their overpriced merchandise free basketball and football passes?

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

1Patriot (Anonymous) says: "Sounds to me that the "Phog" part of that is in reference to the University right there!"It seems "The Phog" is a registered trademark of KU. The word "Phog" by itself, however, may not be - the 23rd St. Brewery owns the rights to "Crimson Phog."Incidentally, in response to some of the posts above:A word isn't 'copyrighted,' it can be registered as a trade- or service mark. The University of Kansas does, indeed, have the word "Kansas" registered as both. Strangely enough, neither "Kansas University" or "The University of Kansas" appear to be registered. ("Universitatis Kansiensis," which appears on the seal, was previously registered but expired and was cancelled in January.)The Kansas Dept. of Economic Development also has the word "Kansas" registered. So does the band 'Kansas.' And there are a couple of hundred various entities that have the word "Kansas" in combination, everything from the Kansas City Star to Kansas Propane to Radio Kansas to Lenexa Kansas, and yes, both Kansas State University and The University of Western Kansas.The reason several entities can own the same trademark is because you can only register it for certain products. They have to be something you sell or have a "bona fide intent" to sell in the future, and only the products listed on the application are covered by your trademark. So if John Smith sells shirts and registers "John Smith" as a trademark for shirts, then I can still sell hats that say "John Smith."By the way, "Jayhawks" is a registered trademark of KU. Believe it or not, the singular - "Jayhawk" - is not. That one belongs to Jayhawk Manufacturing in Hutchison. There's also a company in Pennsylvania that sells a sports drink called Jayhawkade (a registered TM). There are lots of companies that have "Hawk" or "Hawks" registered for various products (and several hundred using those words as part of combinations), KU isn't one of them.It appears KU has 19 currently live registrations, including Kansas, KU, and the letter K. Yes, the letter K. Also, Jayhawks, Kivisto Field, Allen Fieldhouse, and The Phog. Oh, and let's not forget "Uncommon Doctors."To further complicate all this, a trade- or service mark does not have to be registered. Registering it with the Patent Office adds much easier and stronger enforcement capability, but if you're already using a certain term on your label when you sell products, you can sue to keep others from using it. Sometimes, though, it's not just the word, or even the exact phrase, that matters; it may have to be in a certain style of lettering, certain colors, etc. (like the aforementioned letter K).Don't you all wish you were on the jury? :)

big_blue 6 years, 5 months ago

dear ljworld,10th paragraph..."Tilly said that approximately 75 perent of the shirts that KU questioned were not in violation of any trademark. Sinks will stay in business, he said."it's called SPELL CHECK...if you need help using it, i'll send over my 7 year old nephew.

thebigspoon 6 years, 5 months ago

kuhoops,luck few is a t-shirt sold by Larry.ku dude did not make that up.

mom_of_three 6 years, 5 months ago

KU Rocks - nope, sorry, live in Kansas. have all of my life. But maybe instead of 200 signs in the store that only his customers would see, he needed to put the sign on the shirt.

BIGBEAR 6 years, 5 months ago

They should make a shirt that says my college will sue you

chapdaddy 6 years, 5 months ago

Yep, I bought 2 shirts over the weekend. Great pub for Larry and Joe College.This ain't over.......

pimp11 6 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Jay_lo 6 years, 5 months ago

TheOriginalCA,I'm sure that is a favorite saying in the legal profession seeing as how it translates to "This probably isn't over."Ka-ching!!!

KU_cynic 6 years, 5 months ago

It's hardly a victory for KU Athletics. After figuring in attorney fees KU is in the red on this fight. Perhaps the precedent and its potential chilling effect on other alleged "infringers" is worth it to Big Lew and his gang.

pimp11 6 years, 5 months ago

Property of KU works for me on all shirts

nbnozzy 6 years, 5 months ago

I'll be sure to stop by Larry's store during the side walk sale and buy a couple of shirts to help support his business. Hope everyone else does too.

TheOriginalCA 6 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

quadrangleman 6 years, 5 months ago

little late to clarify this ongoing debate but to quote from earlier:notajayhawk"A word isn't 'copyrighted,' it can be registered as a trade- or service mark. The University of Kansas does, indeed, have the word "Kansas" registered as both. Strangely enough, neither "Kansas University" or "The University of Kansas" appear to be registered. ("Universitatis Kansiensis," which appears on the seal, was previously registered but expired and was cancelled in January.)By the way, "Jayhawks" is a registered trademark of KU. Believe it or not, the singular - "Jayhawk" - is not. That one belongs to Jayhawk Manufacturing in Hutchison. There's also a company in Pennsylvania that sells a sports drink called Jayhawkade (a registered TM). There are lots of companies that have "Hawk" or "Hawks" registered for various products (and several hundred using those words as part of combinations), KU isn't one of them."...I've never heard of this "Kansas University" you speak of, but The University of Kansas is a registered trademark, as is KU, Kansas Jayhawk(s), and Jayhawk(s). The singular and plural go hand in hand. However, they are registered with a ®, not a /¢. Kivisto field was also mentioned in another post, which does get a /¢. A few other's include:The Crimson and the Blue/¢Beak 'em Hawks/¢Rock Chalk Jayhawk®Allen Fieldhouse®the whole point of licensing is to protect the image of the university. Do you really think that KU gives a crap about the pocket change that Joe College makes from his stupid shirts? KU simply doesn't want people to believe that Joe College shirts are in any way, shape, or form affiliated with them.Juck Foe. <------see, not funny or clever.

compmd 6 years, 5 months ago

How a jury can find a shirt with nothing but the text "Our Coach Can Eat Your Coach" infringes on KU trademarks is beyond comprehension. The idiocy of this jury and the ignorance of the fundamental concepts of trademark are astounding. This had better end up in the appeals court.

devobrun 6 years, 5 months ago

"Our Coach Beat Anorexia" was allowed, but "Our Coach Can Eat Your Coach" was determined to be infringing.------------------------------------So, I've been trying to justify the above and I just can't see it.Clearly the jury wanted to bail. Jury would have bailed sooner if there had been a KU basketball game on TV.

ignati5 6 years, 5 months ago

If, by some miracle, Obama should carry our state in November and the networks put Kansas in the blue column, will the DNC have to pay royalties to the Evil Empire? Bill

ontheotherhand 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree with mom_of_three. He should have made a cute little oval-shaped design which stated joecollege.com and "Our t-shirts are NOT sanctioned by the school of higher learning located in Lawrence, in the state south of Nebraska." (Did I violate a copyright? Does KU own the word t-shirt? Uh oh)

Confrontation 6 years, 5 months ago

If KU would just become a crappy school like K-Suck and Missery, then this wouldn't be an issue. Those schools are so pathetic, they have to pay people to use their trademarks.

coolmarv 6 years, 5 months ago

"yellowhouse (Anonymous) says: Boy that is unbelievable! I wonder if I could go around sueing people with Yellow Houses?"Blah, Blah, Blah Yellow House this. Blah, Blah, Blah Yellow house that. Wah, Wah, Wah! Way to serve your own agenda with these threads. Go back an look at your posts and see what everyone else sees. Thank goodness the LJW is here to assist you in plight.I'll bet yh's removal was a comment directed to beobachter who did not want to hear from yh and w_fpowder's removal was a comment directed at the same beobachter in defense of yh."was_freashpowder (Anonymous) says: This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.""yellowhouse (Anonymous) says: This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement."

FFAF 6 years, 5 months ago

I'd love to see a list of what shirts got the ax and what ones survived. What are the odds "Missouri: 6 million people, 5 last names" made it??

Kent Fisher 6 years, 5 months ago

I gotta say..."Luck Few" is brilliant! Nice one, KU_Dude!

roshi12 6 years, 5 months ago

What does it cost to register a trademark? How long does it take? Joe College should just go ahead and register a few things - like two names for starters Jim Marchiony and Lew Perkins. Then he can legally print shirts that say things like "Lew Perkins - Eat $*%#!" and they can't do a thing.

Confrontation 6 years, 5 months ago

That should make them about $15 per year.

penguin 6 years, 5 months ago

As noted earlier on this thread or another similar one, Jayhawk is actually owned by Jayhawk Manufacturing Co. There are some dead trademarks that include Lawrence Paper Co. It is only the plural form or Jayhawks that is trademarked by KU. However, when used in saying Rock Chalk Jayhawk it is then covered by a KU trademark, but by itself it is not owned by KU. I guess the better question is how lenient is Jayhawk Manufacturing Co. with their trademark?

cds 6 years, 5 months ago

yellowhouse (Anonymous) says: Boy that is unbelievable! I wonder if I could go around sueing people with Yellow Houses?__Don't know, wonder if one of your renters can sue you for renting out an uninhabitable house on Connecticut St. Oh wait they already moved from your mouse infested piece of garbage house, that you can see the sun thru the ceiling. BTW the front steps and porch are a lawsuit waiting to happen, maybe I should go visit the new renters and have an "accident" while I'm there. Maybe talk them into calling the city on the safety of your wonderful home.Back on topic.Sorry to hear of the loss of the lawsuit, hope I can find some of the now outlawed shirts!

smartmomma 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm pretty sure he should take this to the higher courts...CRAP

dweezil222 6 years, 5 months ago

Okay, so this ruling is probably as good as it gets, for both sides. I want to know, specifically, which shirts infringed and which didn't, before I'll draw too harsh a judgment. Somehow, I doubt "Muck Fizzou" was one of the fifty.

Green_Trees_Brown_Dirt 6 years, 5 months ago

KU needs to get a grip...then get back to the business of being a university. Problem is, many on the hill haven't a clue as to what that means. Some few of the faculty know, but much of the admin staff and 3-figure sharks and spinners haven't a clue. The captain can't read the stars, you know? Shirts should be the absolute least of a universities' concerns. Anyone ever heard of books? Maybe Lew and the gang should take a walk through the Watson stacks and come to by the scent of pages and pages of information that took untold years of effort to compile. Unfortunately, it seems this bout is a KO.

thomgreen 6 years, 5 months ago

"We will continue to fight to protect our trademarks, because it is important to the university, our students and the hundreds of licensees and retail partners who respect our trademarks," Perkins said in a statement._______and the part he forgot......it's important for our pocketbooks. I'm torn on this decision. I was ready to give up buying any more KU licensed merchandise if they had won a sweeping victory against Joe-College. I think this lawsuit was bad form on the athletic departments part. I will forever cheer on the athletic teams, I just don't know if I'll buy their stuff in the future.

penguin 6 years, 5 months ago

An even better question is would these people be so quick to defend another small businessman in this situation if it was Dennis Steffes. I am guessing that the opinion might change on this point too.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 5 months ago

Marion: "This tells you exactly what the lawsuit was about; not copyright violations but rather, KU's definition of "good taste"."The trial and ruling have left a bad taste in my mouth.

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Jay_lo (Anonymous) says: "Unless you have more information than I, all you are basing your argument on is the number of designs that were submitted in the lawsuit."And just what where you basing your claim that "KU would have settled for a cease and desist involving a lot fewer shirt styles than they ended up suing over" on, Jay_lo, other than maybe it came out of a certain body area people associate with your screen name?"Also if KU is so intent on controlling everything in the state with their registration of "Kansas" how could the others even use the word Kansas?"Perhaps if you had read some of the earlier posts, you'd know that for one thing, trademarks are product-specific. But I'm glad you did notice that others use the word 'Kansas' in combination with others (there are over 200 such registrations, I believe). So why can't JoeCollege print shirts that say "Kansas Drinking Team" or the like?*****penguin (Anonymous) says: "I do not know what occurred, but I imagine it was one of those WTF? moments at the trademark office."If you had been as thorough with your perusal of that registration as you were with UWK's, you'd see that Mr. Sink's registration pre-dated KU's. And that it was 'abandoned,' not 'cancelled.'

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

By the way, if you would like to see who has what registered as a trade mark or service mark, you can find that information here:http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htmJust click on "Search" at the top of the right-hand column.(I'm thinking of registering the word "Search" - oops, too late.)

pimp11 6 years, 5 months ago

You didnt hear....... all games will be sold next year to their respected radio broadcasting networks. Will have to go online and purchase the package to listen to your favorite games. I think that was announced after the Championship game. You could find it on this link.www.bs-radiohype.org/kansasjayhawkz

dontcallmedan 6 years, 5 months ago

It's after 1 AM, and I have just finished reading the story and all the comments. Two words: complete bullshirt.

Jay_lo 6 years, 5 months ago

notajayhawk (Anonymous) says: "And if you don't think this is a case of KU thinking they own the rights to anything related to the entire state, let alone the university, you might ask yourself why Kansas State University and the University of Western Kansas registered the entire names of their schools, while KU was arrogant enough to register "Kansas.""Let me guess. KU registered first, and so they couldn't register just "Kansas" if they wanted to.Also if KU is so intent on controlling everything in the state with their registration of "Kansas" how could the others even use the word Kansas?I guess "notajayhawk" says it all.

kusp8 6 years, 5 months ago

Does anybody know if the word "Missouri" is trademarked/copyrighted? If not, I'm trademarking/copyrighting Missouri so they can't say, utter, whisper it ever again.

Lynn Wilson-Bruce 6 years, 5 months ago

This is so sad!!!! Joe College has done nothing wrong as far as I am concerned! I am embarressed of my college and never thought I would be! I feel they are money hungry and greedy! If anything Joe College helped promote our University and did it in a fun way! This just makes us look bad as a University! WHy can't Lew see that!!!! Very bad publicity for our college!I did like the idea of Joe College selling pencils with a free t-shirt... they could not do anything about that!!!! I'd be there buying all kinds of pencil's!!!! What a GREAT idea!

Franker 6 years, 5 months ago

Muck Farchiony, how does KU own the color blue and the word Kansas??

average 6 years, 5 months ago

My suspicion is that it's just the ones that said "Hawk Basketball" or "Hawk Football" that went over the line.

Bladerunner 6 years, 5 months ago

They can take away the shirt but....Our Coach really CAN eat your coach!!!!! Makes me wonder.....Are there any missing coaches? Hmmmmmmm.

Take_a_letter_Maria 6 years, 5 months ago

spenmar (Anonymous) says: 15 Minute Parade (How much longer can it take to drive down Mass?)Trying to get the city to pay for lost revenue at holidome for cancelled dinner (WRONG - trying to get Chamber and/or Downtown Lawrence Inc. to pay for EXPENSES related to a cancelled dinner - they wouldn't and it was dropped)Trying to stop the parade (not really because if they really wanted to stop it they would have done so.)Suing a T-Shirt Guy (who many like to paint as the innocent little guy when in fact he's been the kid poking the bear with a stick for at least 10 years.)Selling Artifacts out of Allen Field House online auction (artifacts? pieces of the floor or the urinal troughs? either way if people are willing to pay for something would you rather they toss it and let someone else reap the benefits?)Not having a parade for football team (greatest season ever) (When would have proposed they had this? Right after the Orange Bowl when less than half the team returned to Lawrence? In the middle of January when classes started and we could all freeze our @sses off? With the basketball team four months after the fact and when they were overshadowed by a National Championship)What a year Lew Perkins has had! And he gets to fly around on a private jet on your dime!!Larry Sinks needs to higher a better law firm::.did you ever hear of PARODY::all major lawsuits from Record Companies against artists who did parodies of songs or artists:.all lost::.Larry Sinks brought a cap gun and Lew Perkins brought a machine gun to the fight:..Hey Larry:.get a high powered law firm and win this!!!! (WRONG again - Weird Al and others receive permission and pay royalties to the original artists/record labels)Its about a PARODY.To those wanting to know why KU trademarked KANSAS when K-State and Western Kansas trademarked their entire names, think about it. When you are watching KU on television the announcers interchange KANSAS, KU, Kansas University and the University of Kansas. If they are calling a K-State game it is Kansas State, Kansas State University or K-State, if they were to "dare" refer to K-State as KANSAS all the Jayhawk faithful gets their feathers ruffled. You can't have it both ways folks.

Curtis Lange 6 years, 5 months ago

Guess I better head over there tomorrow to see if they still have some of the 'offending' shirts for sale. All the jury did was make those 50 shirts instant classics. Sometimes, I'm almost ashamed to be affiliated with this university.

penguin 6 years, 5 months ago

Ok wow the people asking random questions about branding is not getting annoying.I especially like the comment about Jaybowl prices going up that are controlled largely by the Memorial Corp. Also the branding issues for student groups, which actually they do exist. I know from past experience working with the trademark people that they are more hesitant to let you use the Jayhawk for student elections use. However, it has been a few years for me.Really, the prices are not all that different. I guess most of the shirts I purchased this last year have been about $20 and they are all officially licensed. The Joe College shirts are $15...usually. However, I also know that some of my money goes to KU Athletics and KU Endowment. The Joe College profits go to the owner. I would rather see KU profit than some random guy printing off shirts.Also to those who do not see the copyright issues have truly not traveled outside of Lawrence. I agree that the store is well marked, but those outside of Lawrence often do not see those signs. When a person in Hays or Garden City or Winfield or Beloit...etc...sees those shirts they have no idea that they are not officially licensed. So one might think that the "She's Fat, I'm Drunk, It's On" shirt is somehow approved by KU. I am personally surprised that their are not issues related to the use of player names. The NCAA says that the Universities can market numbers, but cannot sell names. This is why names do not appear on jerseys unless you pay to put them on there. I think this is one of the more egregious violations. This business can profit off these student athletes names and numbers. I am not too happy that the Universities can profit from their nameless jerseys, but this just takes it an extra step when you directly use their names. This seems like it could be a future area of contention, and that this business profits from the players inability to have any recourse because of the nature of the NCAA.

Chris Ogle 6 years, 5 months ago

My guess is the lawyers made out best on this one.

dweezil222 6 years, 5 months ago

punkrockmom (Anonymous) says:All it makes me want to do is go buy shirts at joe college.========================Yeah, given the publicity after this trial, Larry's increased business ought to help pay the verdict.

dewopa 6 years, 5 months ago

Nice way to squish the little guy and discourage University support. Instead of spending attorney dollars on this case, maybe they should try to save money so they can stop increasing enrollment fees.

greywolf85203 6 years, 5 months ago

I feel that KU should have left it alone. They just want money is all. So if he isn't allowed to use school colors, then if I were to wear a blue shirt or red shirt am I infringing on KU because I'm wearing their colors without permission. Come on here sounds like to me that they are just after the money.I have personally purchased a few shirts from that store. I do because they are original. And as long as he doesn't use a jayhawk was is the harm? I mean if KU has the copy write on the word "kansas" ummm doesn't that mean that every legal paper in the state that has "kansas" on it owes KU money? If history is correct the state was named WELL BEFORE the university was founded!

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

"And just what where you basing your claim that "KU would have settled for a cease and desist involving a lot fewer shirt styles than they ended up suing over" on, Jay_lo, other than maybe it came out of a certain body area people associate with your screen name?"-notajayhawk_oralawyereitherClassy way to ask notajayhawk. From Judge Robinson's 3/08/08 Memorandum and Order:"In a letter dated May 30, 2006, Lew Perkins, Director of Athletics for KU, requested that Sinks discontinue certain T-shirt designs sold by his company, (footnote 51) and that he "cease production and sale of any other items that infringe on the University's trademarks, including the term Kansas, and cease the use of designs that are closely identified with the University." In that letter, Perkins emphasized the fact that many of the designs sold and produced through the Joe-College.com business were offensive to the University, or disparaged the athletic programs or coaches. This action was subsequently filed by plaintiffs on August 16, 2006." "Approximately 140 designsutilized by defendants formed the basis of plaintiffs' claims in this case as of the filing of dispositive motions." footnote 52fn 51: "In the letter, Perkins specifically identified shirts that use the terms "Kansas," "Jayhawk[s]," "Hawk," the Jayhawk design, examples of those that are "offensive": "Kansas Drinking Team," "Kansas Swimming Team," "Muck Fizzou," "Our Coach is Phat," and examples of those that use student-athletes' names: "Super Mario 15" and "Moody Maniacs." (See Doc. 139, Ex. O.)"fn 52: "Plaintiffs have supplemented their exhibits since that time with many more designs that have been added to the Joe-College.com inventory in recent months."nota, it seems to me this letter says "KU would have settled for a cease and desist involving a lot fewer shirt styles than they ended up suing over", i.e. 140+ t-shirts considering they "specifically identified shirts" as the Judge put it . I wasn't there, didn't write or receive the letter, but I believe my interpretation is reasonable. Otherwise why send the letter if you weren't trying to get them to stop printing/selling certain shirts? You can only conclude that ceasing/desisting as requested probably wouldn't have lead to the instant litigation-at least not on that basis. I've previously tried to provide you with the facts/law obtained from public record sources, but you apparently prefer to pontificate quasi-philosophically over what you think is right/wrong and should/should not be. For answers to any more of your questions I recommend researching the facts and law associated with this case rather than merely opining. At least go read the Order I've cited for you... several times. It's certainly not all the evidence/law in the case, but it's a decent start. You might even learn a little more about both sides and why there was a dispute. Your "listening audience" will certainly be better served.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Now let's see if I have this right. You guys don't like KU, Topeka or KC.. These are the three entities that are solely responsible for Lawrence even having an Economy. Without these three revenue sorces, Lawrence would probabaly consist of about 500 shacks and everyone fighting for the good jobs down at the coop grain elevator.

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Jay_lo (Anonymous) says: "I guess "notajayhawk" says it all."Why, yes, it does, actually.If you were referring to my own use of that, it means nothing more than that I am not originally from the state of Kansas, and has nothing to do with the University. But thank you for so beautifully illustrating my point. The word Jayhawk has been around longer than KU has, and was in fairly common usage referring to the people who lived in this state. The University started using it, and then said that nobody else could. Which would be roughly like American University nick-naming their sports teams "Americans," then trademarking the name and claiming no one else can print T-shirts with that word on it.

Catbacker 6 years, 5 months ago

Actually, confrontation, KSU's Powercat is the most used trademarked logo by middle and high schools throughout the country. They do have to pay up to use it...$1 per year.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 5 months ago

I predict it's over. Some of the t-shirts appeared to cross the line to me, but KU was clearly overreaching in trying to make an example of this guy.KU made their statement, and it'll be heard by anyone thinking of infringing their trademarks. Sinks stays in business, so KU won't be the big bad ogre who ran the little guy out of business. KU won't press any further because it hasn't been a good PR move for them, and pursuing it any further could be really damaging to them.

roshi12 6 years, 5 months ago

Muck Farchiony too! Why don't you KU brass types spend less time suing, or threatening to sue people, and more time double-checking student athlete transcripts?

6 years, 5 months ago

Percentage of royalty is now 9%. We understand that Sink wanted to be licensed but couldn't get one because LP didn't like him which seems ironic since if he was licensed he never would have been allowed to produce those "offense" shirts! Suggestions: Lucky Few or Good Luck Few.

Jim Williamson 6 years, 5 months ago

I love it. Anytime someone doesn't have a leg to stand on for infringing on copyrights or intellectual property, they try to wave the flag and cry, "1st Amendment!" Everyone knows he was simply trying to undermine the University. Don't be so disingenuous about it, Larry.

Brandi Simpson-Glover 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree with KU_Dude! I am mad that the jury found in KU's favor but glad at the amount Larry was ordered to pay.

pimp11 6 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

1Patriot 6 years, 5 months ago

"Phogfan86"?Sounds to me that the "Phog" part of that is in reference to the University right there! You never know......you might be the next one sitting across from the table from KU!

chapdaddy 6 years, 5 months ago

Luck Few.A $10 jack on KU BB tickets is just the first to come from all this.Be prepared for the $10 per person game of bowling at the JayBowl.

penguin 6 years, 5 months ago

No I understand that it pre-dated KU's registration, but it seemed ridiculous that he would even attempt to register the trademark, notajayhawk. Again, it would be like me trying to register Wescoe Hall or Strong Hall as a trademark. I just thought it was a little ridiculous that someone else could trademark an entity owned by another individual or organization. Feel free to read the entirety of the post next time.

penguin 6 years, 5 months ago

Ok the reason why the University of Western Kansas does not have many other associated trademarks is because the live registration is a new one. Look at both on the site provided above and you will see they were both registered in the last year or so. This was a time when FHSU was toying with becoming UWK (or some combination thereof). Also just to provide some prospective this control of the trademark is not unique to KU. I have plenty of friends in Hays who have to abide by these same issues when preparing their Oktoberfest shirts/other products. They have pretty similar guidelines that do not allow you to use FHSU, Tigers, or University on items that student groups sell. In this case it is student groups selling items for trips and students. I am sure there are similar incidents across the state and country. I personally found it hilarious that Sinks at least at one time had registered Kivisto Field http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=69uupf.1.1I do not know what occurred, but I imagine it was one of those WTF? moments at the trademark office. Seriously, that is like me registering Fenway Park or Arrowhead Stadium. However, I am sure it at least brought some fun to an office that must be boring.

MJL686 6 years, 5 months ago

Ok folks, think about this......Have you ever thought about how the shirt with the slogan/statement on it defines the person you are?Yes, Mr. Sinks has the right to market tasteless shirts that do not infringe upon trademarks, registered names or whatever you want to call it but the consumer has the right NOT to purchase them. I chose NOT to purchase his tasteless product.I grew up in Lawrence, I find his products embarrassing and tarnishes our community. Yes, it is MY right to feel embarrassed as it is yours to feel insulted by my personal comment.Keep in mind both parties interests were considered by a lawful jury overseen by a appointed judge.......

Sigmund 6 years, 5 months ago

"Our Coach Beat Anorexia" was allowed, but "Our Coach Can Eat Your Coach" was determined to be infringing."Clear bright line there, NOT.

TheOriginalCA 6 years, 5 months ago

Jay_lo,It was obviously a calculated risk on Sinks' part. I am sure that he had good sound advice from his attorney. I also know that they have a saying in the legal profession. "If neither party is thrilled, then it is a good settlement." Or something like that.

kuandksufan 6 years, 5 months ago

I, for one, am extremely happy that Joe College will stay in business, and I hope KU learned something from all of the bad PR (probably not though).Let's all head down to Joe College, purchase a shirt so that he can pay back KU quickly, and hope he comes up with some more Hucking Filarious slogans to replace the ones that have been banned.

mom_of_three 6 years, 5 months ago

Has anyone read the papers from Wichita or Kansas City for their two cents? A lot of people thought Joe College was in the wrong, and I agree with them. I think the jury made the right decision, but wonder why they only thought some of the shirts crossed the line at infringement. I am interested to see which shirts crossed the line, but I have never shopped in Joe college and never intend to. Don't care if he is the little guy, but I find some of his shirts offensive. Plus, he hangs around with Whitlock, and that doesn't necessarily raise his stock. Perhaps if he put the slogan "not ku license merchandise" on every shirt, KU wouldn't have had a problem.

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

logicsound04 (Anonymous) says: "One last thing-if KU is so concerned about the reputation of their brand, it doesn't seem like going after someone who wasn't really cutting into revenue..."Amen. KU's two arguments do seem to be incompatible. How do you claim you're losing revenue on sales of shirts you say are damaging your reputation, which means you wouldn't have been selling the same shirts anyway? As if the same people buying the Muck Fizzou shirts are going to buy one of the politically correct licensed products...

Catbacker 6 years, 5 months ago

Me thinks all the Native American tribes should see this as an opportunity to sue...well...pretty much everybody for everything. Many towns, cities, states, lakes, rivers, parks,and UNIVERSITIES are named after or using Native words, and therefore, whether registered or not, are trademarked.

ralphralph 6 years, 5 months ago

How refreshing to see an enlightened educational institution stomp on a creative and energetic entrepreneur, turn him upside down, and shake the money out of his pockets. Rock Chalk, indeed.

Jeanne Cunningham 6 years, 5 months ago

How about a shirt that says "K" "A" "N" "S" "A" "S"? - that is actually with the quotation marks around each letter. I don't think the individual letters can possibly be registered?

yellowhouse 6 years, 5 months ago

Boy that is unbelievable! I wonder if I could go around sueing people with Yellow Houses?

LadyJ 6 years, 5 months ago

Joe College should make a shirt that says "I'm helping Larry Sinks pay KU" and sell that. Then the buyers could wear them to the game. Makes me wonder about those t-shirts that say "my parents went to Kansas and all I got was this lousy shirt". What about the ones that say "we're not in Kansas anymore Toto"? Now that one's a powder keg.

TheOriginalCA 6 years, 5 months ago

I grew up a Jayhawk when middle class people could afford to be Jayhawks but I will NEVER step foot on that campus again and not one cent of mine will go to that corporation. The KU Alumni Band that I have played in so many years in a row now can kiss my @$$ because I won't be back. Lew has sold out in just about every way possible but I am sure that he will find something else to sell out on.

Jay_lo 6 years, 5 months ago

Right, like Joe-College isn't some kind of leech feeding off the popularity of the University of Kansas, and his shirts have no connection to the school or its programs, that's why he named his business Joe-College and not Joe-Lawrence, or Joe-Douglas County. It's a pure and simple attempt to make money off of someone else's work, investment, and success. If he's so creative then he should be able to come up with enough shirt ideas to operate a business without having to use misleading references to the school.There's a million people out there who would like the opportunity to craft and sell their little KU items without going through the legal process. That's the exact reason why copyright laws are necessary, and generally enforced as they are.I am willing to bet that he was given the option to cease and desist before this ever came to a lawsuit. If so, then it was his choice to fight to defend his infringement practices, so I really have a hard time seeing why so many people are so upset over the outcome. It would appear to be nothing more than the tired old rebel against the establishment philosophy that some people just can't seem to outgrow.

penguin 6 years, 5 months ago

These are entirely different arguments. Last time I checked University of Kansas includes the word Kansas. However, to my knowledge Larry Sinks does not own nor is his name included in Kivisto Field.Also if anyone would take a few minutes they would see that other universities have trademarked the name of states including Missouri and Oklahoma. I am guessing that it continues with the other flagship universities of most states. All this story comes down to is who should profit from the KU success: KU or a t-shirt guy. I will happily pay the extra $5 for a licensed product. However, I will admit that I purchased a MUCK FIZZOU shirt (when they were sold at the Crossing...wow that was a while back). At the time it seemed that their was just the one shirt that all students had to have. It was a pretty mild and funny shirt that identified one as a KU fan. Unfortunately, it seems to have given rise to 20+ shirts that accuse any number of members of surrounding states of incest or bestiality or who knows what. Oh well, one benefit of these shirts continued printing is that it is like a sign that tells me the intelligence of the person wearing the shirt.

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

penguin (Anonymous) says: "I guess technically it is a state entity with many other private corps operating within it (Memorial Corp, KUAC, etc.)"Which is a shame. Why does a university have to form corporations? Or, as many others have said, be 'branded?' It just seems that an entity owned by the people of the state, supposedly for the benefit of the people of the state, shouldn't restrict the rights of those people to use the very icons that represented them long before the university existed.The state of Kansas, one might think, owns the university - but the university 'owns' the name of the State? How ludicrous is that?

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

penguin (Anonymous) says: "I just found it funny and it shows how ridiculous trademark law is when someone else can trademark something on your property."I'm not in total disagreement. But as I said, it's done all the time.Besides - the names you mentioned are likely considered trademarks, registered or not, which are the 'property' of the university.Who owns the university?

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

"Now, I'm not a mathematician any more than I'm a lawyer. But I'm fairly certain that 140 is more than 50. And I'm also pretty sure that 140 is substantially closer to 200 than it is to 50."-notaWell at least that much of your post is accurate. The balance is completely irrelevant to the substance of what I posted in response to your chiding jay_lo over the number of t-shirt styles KU took issue with.In the cease and desist letter noted above, (I know, more of those "pesky" facts) KU apparently took exception to 3 "styles" of t-shirts; 1) trademark protected, 2) offensive and 3) those using student-athlete names. At least 9-10 different specific t-shirts falling into these categories were identified in the letter.Now recall that as I pointed out above, at the time of filing dispositive Motions KU took issue with appproximately 140 shirts. Many more were added after that, but they're not relevant either because the only two points in time that are pertinent to this discussion are the date of the cease and desist letter and the time of filing the suit. All we know is that KU complained about 3 categories consisting of at least 9-10 different t-shirts in May 2006. While there very likely were at least some other shirts KU believed fell into one of the three categories, that's still a heck of a lot less than the 140 identified at the time of filing dispositive motions.

penguin 6 years, 5 months ago

well just depends who you ask on any given issue. It is a state owned university that based on levels of support is now operating more like a state supported entity. I guess technically it is a state entity with many other private corps operating within it (Memorial Corp, KUAC, etc.)

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

penguin (Anonymous) says: "These are entirely different arguments. Last time I checked University of Kansas includes the word Kansas. However, to my knowledge Larry Sinks does not own nor is his name included in Kivisto Field."So you're saying it would be okay for Mr. Sinks to register "Larry" as a trade mark? Should all of us that own kitchen Sinks have to pay a royalty?People can and do register trademarks including the name of a place or landmark where or near where they operate. Particularly when those landmarks are publicly owned.******quadrangleman (Anonymous) says:"...but The University of Kansas is a registered trademark..."Again I suggest people go to this website and find out for themselves. http://www.uspto.gov/main/profiles/acadres.htmAlthough I previously found 19 trade- or service marks registered to 'The University of Kansas,' leaving off the "The" yielded a list of 36 currently live trade- or service marks registered to either 'University of Kansas' or one of its parts. However, "The University of Kansas" is not one of them. It is, indeed, likely regarded as a trademark, but in order to use the ®, it has to be registered with the Patent Office. And if you do your own search, I think you'll find it isn't.And if you look at the lawsuit as filedhttp://media.ljworld.com/pdf/2006/10/show_case_docMain.pdfyou'll see that the university made no claim to "The University of Kansas" as a trademark registered in Kansas or with the USPTO.

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

bad_dog (Anonymous) says: "Classy way to ask notajayhawk."Much subtler than other options, bad_dog, and I was replying in kind. Speaking of which - a little overdue on distemper shots, are we?I never claimed to be an attorney, bad_dog, but at least I can do simple arithmetic.Now, I know some of you folks who urinate blue think that JoeCollege should have trembled and prostrated himself before the mighty university, and immediately ceased and desisted in selling the 140 shirts you refer to. But Mr. Sinks was absolutely correct, it seems, to challenge the university, since the jury disagreed on approximately 90 of those shirts the university told him he couldn't sell (I say "at least" because we don't know if the 50 that were found to infringe were all part of those 140 - KU added some later).Now, I'm not a mathematician any more than I'm a lawyer. But I'm fairly certain that 140 is more than 50. And I'm also pretty sure that 140 is substantially closer to 200 than it is to 50. "I've previously tried to provide you with the facts/law obtained from public record sources..."Gee, thanks. I can read just fine, and have done so. And far be it for me to imply that posting based on your assumption that the only way I could possibly disagree with someone so knowledgeable as yourself is if I had failed to do so constitutes 'pontificating.' I'll simply point out that using your own numbers and citations, it's obvious that from the start KU wanted JoeCollege to stop selling nearly 100 shirts - and added more later - that the jury found to be perfectly legal and acceptable.

corduroy 6 years, 5 months ago

How about another lawsuit? Perhaps Joe College would be wise not to use part of the Coca-Cola logo in the Joe College script logo. Lazy? Stupid? I see a pattern here...

penguin 6 years, 5 months ago

I just found it funny and it shows how ridiculous trademark law is when someone else can trademark something on your property.I also see that Joe College already has shirts related to the trial up on their website. I am sure they will be hot items at the sidewalk sale. I have always looked at their shirts and chuckled some. I have also cringed some at some of the other shirts and wonder who actually buys shirts that say "She's Fat I'm Drunk It's On" amongst many of the other shirts they sell. However, I am thankful that it does provide me an insight on the wearer. I could have cared less that these shirts be taken out and I think that the other offensive shirts just tell members of the community more about that person. So I guess a thanks should go out to Joe College in helping us know more about those around us.

Confrontation 6 years, 5 months ago

Ontheotherhand, who is a by-product of a K-Suck education, obviously can't read. Where did I say that KU doesn't charge for the use of its trademark? Where, genius? I said the exact opposite. KU charges because the trademark is worth something.

pissedinlawrence 6 years, 5 months ago

Oh like KU needs anymore money, this makes me sick. Some little shop on Mass. st. selling freaking shirts and KU thinks they need to do all this. Shame on the jury.

quadrangleman 6 years, 5 months ago

notajayhawk-"Although I previously found 19 trade- or service marks registered to 'The University of Kansas,' leaving off the "The" yielded a list of 36 currently live trade- or service marks registered to either 'University of Kansas' or one of its parts. However, "The University of Kansas" is not one of them. It is, indeed, likely regarded as a trademark, but in order to use the ®, it has to be registered with the Patent Office. And if you do your own search, I think you'll find it isn't."..Are you confusing a copyright with a trademark? A ® has nothing to do with a copyright, which has a C inside a circle instead of an R (read); a ® is basically the same as /¢. Go to the union and actually look at a CLC licensed product, and you'll find a ® after every single "University of Kansas". I really don't know why you seem to think that KU doesn't have their full name trademarked at this point. Of course they do. Why is this even being argued about? If you like Joe College shirts, fine. If not, fine. If it upsets you so greatly that you won't be able to buy a shirt about our coach's eating habits, go buy a silkscreen press and make your own.

quadrangleman 6 years, 5 months ago

notajayhawk-I suggest you check for yourself. While the university can obviously claim their name as a trademark, if they're using the ® symbol, they're doing it illegally - unless it refers just to the word "Kansas."...I read all your posts, and I don't care about all these websites you keep linking. That doesn't make you an expert in the matter. I work in this industry. That also doesn't make me an expert, but it does give me first hand knowledge as to what is required on a shirt to pass licensing. The University of Kansas is a registered trademark for KU. If you still think this is incorrect, then contact KU's licensing department or CLC Licensing and see for yourself.

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

quadrangleman (Anonymous) says:"Are you confusing a copyright with a trademark? A ® has nothing to do with a copyright, which has a C inside a circle instead of an R (read); a ® is basically the same as /¢."First off, if you had read my posts, you would have seen that I clearly distinguished between a copyright and a trademark more than once. Second, sorry, but TM and ® are not the same. From the USPTO's website:"Any time you claim rights in a mark, you may use the "TM" (trademark) or "SM" (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the USPTO. However, you may use the federal registration symbol "®" only after the USPTO actually registers a mark"I linked to the source of my information. You can add this one:http://www.kssos.org/business/trademark/trademark_search.aspxI suggest you check for yourself. While the university can obviously claim their name as a trademark, if they're using the ® symbol, they're doing it illegally - unless it refers just to the word "Kansas.".******bad_dog (Anonymous) says:"In the cease and desist letter noted above, (I know, more of those "pesky" facts) KU apparently took exception to 3 "styles" of t-shirts; 1) trademark protected, 2) offensive and 3) those using student-athlete names."And, as you pointed out earlier, the original letter included the following quote: "cease production and sale of any other items that infringe on the University's trademarks, including the term Kansas, and cease the use of designs that are closely identified with the University." As you note yourself, the original cease and desist letter was not limited to 9-10 shirts, it identified three categories - note the words "any other items." Now, let me ask the omniscient bad_dog a question: If the 200 shirts KU eventually named in their suit were not included in those categories, then what was the basis of the suit? Are you accusing the university of filing a frivolous lawsuit, bad_dog?

TopJayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

I think I will register Joe College .com.. I wonder if he has done that, if not he better hurry.

MJL686 6 years, 5 months ago

Ok boys and girls, here are some posts and I think bennyoates sums up perfectly what this whole tread should be about. Very well put bennyoates.Folks just think about why Mr. Sinks lost part of the case:HE BROKE THE LAW !It just is that plain and simple.As far as KU needing more money (or any other university) , our higher learning institutions do need more to keep pace with our ever changing world.I would not like our nation to be know as The Land of the Free and Dumb.MJL686ralphralph (Anonymous) says: How refreshing to see an enlightened educational institution stomp on a creative and energetic entrepreneur, turn him upside down, and shake the money out of his pockets. Rock Chalk, indeed.girlygirl08 (Anonymous) says: This is so sad!!!! Joe College has done nothing wrong as far as I am concerned! I am embarressed of my college and never thought I would be! I feel they are money hungry and greedy! If anything Joe College helped promote our University and did it in a fun way!This just makes us look bad as a University! WHy can't Lew see that!!!! Very bad publicity for our college!pissedinlawrence (Anonymous) says: Oh like KU needs anymore money, this makes me sick. Some little shop on Mass. st. selling freaking shirts and KU thinks they need to do all this. Shame on the jury.bennyoates (Anonymous) says: Most of the anti-verdict messages on this board are based on nothing but emotions like anger and resentment. Most of those doing the complaining made up their minds in advance of the jury's deliberations and care nothing about the actual laws involved.So, these opinions mean nothing because they're based on emotion and driven by ignorance.Furthermore, they show contempt for the U.S. legal system, which surely has plenty of flaws and doesn't always bring the best results, but which is still the most just and fair on this planet. And some of the biggest complainers would be the first to go ballistic if someone outside the U.S. found fault with a system that they themselves disrespect.

notajayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

quadrangleman (Anonymous) says:"I read all your posts, and I don't care about all these websites you keep linking. That doesn't make you an expert in the matter. I work in this industry. That also doesn't make me an expert, but it does give me first hand knowledge as to what is required on a shirt to pass licensing. The University of Kansas is a registered trademark for KU. If you still think this is incorrect, then contact KU's licensing department or CLC Licensing and see for yourself."I never claimed to be an 'expert,' quad. The information I provided was directly from the Trademark Office's website. If by 'working in this industry' you meant something beyond sweeping the floors in a print shop or maybe stocking the shelves in the KU store at Wal-mart, you would know that the links I provided to the USPTO's website and the Kansas trademark office are where a person or business is supposed to go to check whether a word, phrase, or symbol is trademarked.As I said, anyone who uses such a word, phrase, or symbol in commerce can claim it as a trademark and use the 'TM' symbol, but unless it's resgistered with one of the agencies I mentioned, they can't call it a 'registered' trademark or use the ® symbol. I had already figured out that you "don't care about all these websites" - great argument, by the way, I can see you sitting there with your eyes scrunched shut and your hands over your ears saying "Not listening : not listening :" However, if you looked where any other person or business is supposed to check to see if something is a registered trademark, you will find that neither the United States Patent and Trademark Office nor the Kansas Secretary of State's office has the phrase "The University of Kansas" registered.***MJL686 (Anonymous) says:"Folks just think about why Mr. Sinks lost part of the case:he broke the law !It just is that plain and simple."and quotes bennyoates as saying "Furthermore, they show contempt for the U.S. legal system"Now, I'm just curious - where do both of you stand on the new FISA bill or the DOMA? Was slavery okay back when it was the law?I believe most of the people who sided with Mr. Sinks here weren't advocating breaking the law as much as saying the law is wrong - as some have said on this thread or one of the others, it just doesn't seem right that KU can take a term that has been in the public domain, and was in common usage by the people in this state refering to themselves for quite a while before the university existed, and claim it as their own, telling those state residents that they can't use those terms. Especially when those people own the university.

ESM 6 years, 5 months ago

"Not a single Joe College t-shirt has any of the following:KUUniversity of KansasKansas UniversityJayhawksCrimson and BlueA jayhawk logothe KU logothe colors red and blueThe crux of this argument is that KU owns control of any piece of merchandise that uses the word "Kansas" and the color blue in tandem. That is FAR too broad for copyright protection."logicsound thanks for directly answering the questions that this article didn't address for some reason. This is an incredibly bad verdict! Trademark protection is supposed to be specific in scope, this jury sounds unqualified to make these decisions and as a result their verdict is all over the map. So now its offensiveness that determines trademark infringement? Our Coach Can Eat Your Coach (bad) vs. Our Coach Beat Anorexia (good) is going to make the Kansas courts a national laughingstock! At what point does this become a First Amendment argument?The store should appeal but my guess is they don't have the money to fight.And the KU lawyer's argument that posting disclaimers was an admission of guilt was so crass and cheap that he should be ashamed.

MJL686 6 years, 5 months ago

OMG...notajayhawk, keep to the tread or the issue!You have to much time on your hands!

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