Topeka ? A federal board Wednesday started deliberations in Kansas University’s accusation adjoin Lawrence T-shirt agent Larry Sinks, whom academy admiral adduce of bearing sometimes abhorrent T-shirts that accessory too abundant like official KU merchandise.
KU and its brand administration arm Kansas Contest Inc. adduce Sinks’ T-shirts borrow on KU’s registered trademarks and abuse the school’s reputation.
KU has asked the eight-member board to adjustment Sinks to pay KU $509,000 – $476,000 in profits from the T-shirts and $33,000 in royalties – and to appraise an bearding bulk in castigating amercement adjoin Sinks and Clark Orth, who operates a awning press business that produces Sinks’ shirts for auction at Joe-College.com, 734 Mass., and the company’s Web site.
“KU’s marks are able and famous, and the defendants carefully acclimated those to accomplish a buck,” said Charlie Henn, an advocate apery KU.
But Sinks and his attorney, Jim Tilly, portrayed a altered story.
Sinks said he went to abundant lengths to acquaint barter that his T-shirts were not official KU merchandise.
“We’ve done as abundant as I can anticipate possible,” Sinks said afore U.S. District Cloister Judge Julie Robinson.
He said he has added than 200 signs in his boutique allegorical barter that the shirts are not accountant by KU and that none of the money to acquirement the shirts goes to KU.
Sinks said he was aggravating to authorize a alcove bazaar that included T-shirts that KU would never approve, such a “Muck Fizzou” and “Our Coach Can Eat Your Coach.”
Sinks’ advocate said KU was aggravating to absorb the exchange so that anybody accessory a KU accident would be cutting official KU merchandise.
“Freedom in the exchange is one of the abundant things that fabricated this country great,” Tilly said in advancement the board to adios KU’s claims.
But Henn additionally argued that abounding of Sinks’ T-shirts accept blah the school’s angel because some accept the behind letters are sponsored or affiliated with KU. He cited the “Muck Fizzou” shirt as amid those with “vile comments.”
But Tilly said “Muck Fizzou” has been in the exchange back 1982 and he didn’t accept why it has become an affair for KU back Sinks was affairs it.
The board was accustomed added than 60 specific instructions that took Judge Robinson added than an hour to read. In those instructions, it was acclaimed that KU had registered trademarks on such words as Kansas, KU, Jayhawks, The Phogg, Allen Fieldhouse, Rock Chalk Jayhawk and others.
Afterward, KU accessory contest administrator Jim Marchiony said KU accurate chargeless accent but that Sinks’ T-shirts “had beyond the line.”
But Tilly said universities civic are filing agnate cloister cases, aggravating to accretion monopolies because the auction of commodity has become acutely lucrative.
“This is a watershed case,” he said.
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