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Do you think’s T-shirt designs infringe upon the business trademark of Kansas University or harm the school’s image?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on July 10, 2008

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Photo of Mark Massaglia

“I would say no. I don’t see any Jayhawks or even any with KU on them. I live in Wichita and see plenty of shirts that are worse than those.”

Photo of Debbie Filkins

“I don’t think they infringe on any of KU’s trademarks at all. Every university has someone making shirts like those. I don’t think it has any effect on the school’s image.”

Photo of Nick Miller

“No, I don’t. It doesn’t harm the school’s image because it’s not officially licensed by the university. And they’re not using any images that are exclusively owned by the university, so I don’t see the problem.”

Photo of Amy Stahl

“As far as the image thing goes, I think they may have a point. A lot of those shirts are hardly school appropriate.”

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getrightonoutofhere 9 years, 8 months ago

The University is in the wrong, obviously. However, the "humor" on the shirts at this store are targeted towards the nearly illiterate and frat boys. They should be able to continue to sell them. Though, why someone would want to wear such dim-witted phrases on their chest is still beyond me.

Trobs 9 years, 8 months ago

For a large university in a very Liberal town, they are awfully focused on getting their share of the profits aren't they?

pimp11 9 years, 8 months ago

Well what about--- The Hawk- bad rep for selling to minors, using Hawk would associate it to KU......Right? Blue=KU then Hawk= KU......Jayhawk Spirit ( if still around) sells alcohol; well then the University should allow for alcohol sells on campus (the Union/J-Bowl) or should take Jayhawk Spirit to court. I am sure that there are some other aspects of Lawrence that the University doesnt like that is associated with KU. What the hell though, you take the shirts away you are just painting a mud smear on a great athletics season. Dat a Eick Have a sense of humor!!!!

mom_of_three 9 years, 8 months ago

Because the shirts are "KU blue", people think they are university sanctioned. The shirts in bad taste make the University look bad, the students look bad, and the rest of us in Lawrence look stupid. WE know the stupid shirts are not printed by the University, but you venture out of Lawrence, and out of Kansas, and I bet you will get a different opinion. If I was the University, I wouldn't want half the country to think I printed the "my coach can eat your coach" shirt. And if Joe College would used different colors for their t-shirts, it probably wouldn't have made it an issue. KU was probably tired of being embarrassed by the shirts on national tv. You have your opinion, I have mine, but I wouldn't call mine wrong, just as I don't call yours wrong.

gogoplata 9 years, 8 months ago

I vote "easy does it" for the post of the day. Thats funny, I don't care who you are.

Freestater456 9 years, 8 months ago

KU is being ridiculous I'm a K-State fan and I think the shirts are hilarious even the ones insulting K-State. KU is just trying to bully people because of the simple fact that they can. Its just like when KU sued that small college that used the same font on their KU as Kansas was but didn't trademark it .(And the small college had it first) And as far as the image thing is concerned i don't hear anyone except KU complaining about it.(Except for the goody goody sophmore)

acg 9 years, 8 months ago

Leave this guy alone. I love the shirts, they crack me up. The My Coach can Eat Your Coach one is my favorite. KU is just pissed that they didn't get the profits and they're acting like a bunch of babies about it. Maybe if KU shirts weren't so dull and same-old, same-old, they'd sell as many as Joe College does and then they wouldn't have a reason to whine. Oh, wait, they seem to always find a reason to whine up there on the hill.

Dani Davey 9 years, 8 months ago

I wish you all were on the jury. From what I hear, the trial did not go well for Joe College. Buy now!!

nobody1793 9 years, 8 months ago

No to the copyright infringement. Yes to the image. KU students should aim higher than a 3rd-grade level sense of humor. TS to KU, but Juck Foe College anyway.

pimp11 9 years, 8 months ago

What about the Pink shirts....white ones.... red....and I do believe I have seen some green ones. The sky is falling. The world is coming to an end because of blue shirts with humor on them!!

Phil Wilke 9 years, 8 months ago

"Our coach can eat your coach" .... truth is a defense!!

billbodiggens 9 years, 8 months ago

Mom of three - KU is tired of being embarrassed by stupid T-shirts on national television???? Guess we can expect law suits to follow against those mothers' sons who find it necessary to strip to the waist and paint themselves in KU colors and emblems. KU tired of being embarrassed, indeed.

Boeing 9 years, 8 months ago

Just another case of KU looking for money. I understand but, but come on...And most major colleges around the country have a place that sells shirts, hats, or other stuff like this. I've seen it all over...not unique to Lawrence at all...not even close.

mom_of_three 9 years, 8 months ago

I don't know about the copyright infringement, but I do think it harms the school's image. People who see them don't realize it's not the University printing them. Some of them are funny, some are not.

janeyb 9 years, 8 months ago

Actually Joe College isn't KU blue. I think it was discussed in court that he uses one shade off. He isn't infringing on the KU trademark, just stepping on KU toes. Too bad! Actually the LJW didn't report it, but some "bad slogan" T-shirts were purchased by the defense at the KU Bookstore and Jawhawk Spirit which were marked licensed by KU. The fancy KU attorney turned red in the face and asked for a week's delay, until July 7, to look into it. He said someone was claiming licensure who didn't have it and they would be sued. I haven't read any further mention of this, but the Topeka CJ has covered the trial much better than the LJW.Amy is the girl you stick your head in a locker or duck into a classroom rather than be forced to say Hi! to her fifty times a day in HS.

local_support 9 years, 8 months ago

"Sometimes I think my alma mater is run by hyenas. Other times, dingos. Occassionally, they exhibit traits of coyotes. Many times, I think jackals."Made me laugh.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 8 months ago

... only if the word "Kansas" is printed in red or blue... of course, a red "K" defers to -Mart.

sunflower_sue 9 years, 8 months ago

KU only owns "Kansas" if it is in their particular font. They cannot own a color. I have owned a KU license before and the university is mega picky on getting everything exactly right because it has to fall under certain guidelines. From the shirts that I have seen on Joe's website, no infringement has occured.As far as harming the school's image...what image? The one where we are snobs without a sense of humor? Yeah. It definitely harms that one.

acg 9 years, 8 months ago

What the hell would KU have to be embarrassed about? Everyone I know thinks the shirts are funny, but then they have senses of humor, so.... When you factor in the whole Orange Bowl & NCAA title, and the fact that Mangino could eat most of the coaches out there, well then, all you have to me, is a good school, with good teams and residents in the area (some of them) that aren't hampered by a giant stick in their rectum. Go Joe College!!

oldvet 9 years, 8 months ago

Y'all better be careful because your putting into print words that are licensed and they could come back and demand payment from you... after all, they own the name of the state and the two-letter designation often used to reference the university in that state... be careful! I'm going to have to paint a room in my house now, since it is a color that they also own...

pimp11 9 years, 8 months ago

How about this...... KU wins the suit against JoeCollege then all donors to the "Williams Fund" get together and sues since it should be changed. Send your money to UNC if you want to donate to the "Williams Fund" I mean "Benedict Williams Fund"

missmagoo 9 years, 8 months ago

here's my two cents--when i was at KU, there was no "store" selling MucK Fizzou shirts. we bought them from a dude at the crossing (he met us there) who was basically selling them out of his car for $10.. so it's not like these shirts are new. And if I remember correctly, I saw them once at the bookstore on 23rd.. which DOES sell licensed merch. (years ago)--I do not believe Joe College is doing anything wrong. What about shirts on cafe press or any other website? I am going to throw the 'free speech' card here. They don't sell anything with the logo or that says "University of Kansas." Leave them alone Marchiony. I'm sure every university has some sort of company that makes these types of shirts. --On the flipside, I would never personally wear.. nor do I find funny.. the shirts that make fun of Mangino's weight.. or make fun of any other KU person. "Our coach is phat" or "our coach can eat your coach" or whatever they say... I personally think is classless. At the KU/Neb FB game this year there was a KU student holding up a sign that said "Nebraska-missing a player? Mangino ate him". Not funny. But that's just me and its why I will never wear, buy one, or laugh at those. I think we should stick to making fun of OTHER teams' coaches :)

pimp11 9 years, 8 months ago

www.Rivalwear.com a few sites for everyone to see that it happens elsewhere besides here. The last one,, actually has a legal subtitle with information under it........ Who knows how this is going to turn out. I feel sorry for Joecollege because KU is taking his way of life away. I feel sorry for KU for the fact they are being idiots

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 8 months ago

"Do you think's T-shirt designs infringe upon the business trademark of Kansas University or harm the school's image?"Well, I'd like to think they do... Where can I buy one?

Jaminrawk 9 years, 8 months ago

No, KU is all about $$$$$$. That is why they are mad. The shirts don't have Jayhawks and don't say "university". Who cares? The Crossing was making shirts for a long time. Hmmm ..... now the Crossing is gone .....

jayhawker2008 9 years, 8 months ago

Definitely no, KU's just pissed they missed out on the profits. It's not like they own the color blue and the word Kansas!

wysiwyg69 9 years, 8 months ago

I hope you win larry and then put a character lawsuit on ku and stick it in their butt. again good luck, and hopefully there are a lot of mu and kstate fans on the jury

Trobs 9 years, 8 months ago

Blue and red - Property of KU/¢KU/¢ - Property of KU/¢Kansas/¢ - Property of KU/¢Does that mean Kansas /¢ State has to pay the University of Kansas /¢ to be able to use the word Kansas /¢ in their name?

morganlefay 9 years, 8 months ago

Figures they had to find an immature high school kid to side against the business. Someday she'll learn.

readit 9 years, 8 months ago

navyjayhawk--Totally agree with you. Everything from guttering businesses to day cares sporting Jayhawk in the names and using the image. How does that work???

KSChick1 9 years, 8 months ago

no...and I think KU should leave Joe College alone...he can change the color of blue shirts he prints on...or not, because KU does not OWN that color of blueGeez

Trobs 9 years, 8 months ago

The university proves more and more they care about money more then the education of the students or the support of the city that does so much it.

navyjayhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

If KU gets their way, does that open the door for suits against other "Jayhawk" violators? Sure seems like a lot of businesses in Larry are infringing on Kansas Athlethics Inc. profits by using the name "Jayhawk" in their title....

dminear60 9 years, 8 months ago

Jonas: You are giving the people from Missouri an awful lot of credit!

Trobs 9 years, 8 months ago

A blue shirt with Kansas on it will trigger thoughts of KU by anyone in this area. However, lets go to say Virginia and show someone a shirt like that and ask what they think. Odds are, the state.

jonas 9 years, 8 months ago

O-Bob: "I disagree, Mom. Who sees a Muck Fizzou shirt and thinks KU licensed that nonsense?"People from Missouri?

lance1jhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Win or lose Joe College will still booze

yellowhouse 9 years, 8 months ago

Freedom of speech? But for $50 I will say they did it!

TopJayhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Let's face it. Most of Joe College's shirts are tacky, immature and sophmoric. But hey, most college students I know are tacky, immature, and sophmoric. Seems to be a certain connection there. But some of his shirts are very good. The aforementioned one about Manginos' appetite is a good one. I have the "Fighting Mangino's" shirt. Another good one. But I bought an iron on embroidered Jayhawk patch at one of the bookstores. I slapped that baby on the sleeve of my Joe College shirt. Am I going to get sued by the big blue now? Will I get run out of Memorial Stadium this fall in disgrace? Will they demand my first born male child? Will my actions cause a hole to tear in the universe? Will I be responsible for pestalence and famine.? I am very worried.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 8 months ago

What a waste of court time. Apparently consumers are okay with Joe College so what the hell.Remember the next time we hear white collars complaining about frivolous lawsuits.

Crossfire 9 years, 8 months ago

I have not seen any Joe College t-shirts with fringe but if they have fringe it's ok with me a should be ok wit h the KU t-shirt making folks I guess. If they come in white they might be good shirts to wear as you run through and through the woods out side of Tongi. after shooting some cops kid through and though the shoulder or it might infringe on John Fogerty to run though and though the jungle.

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