Topeka "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.
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.
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."