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Thursday, July 10, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Tilly, the attorney representing Sinks, agreed.

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

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

Comments

Ben Kane 12 years, 2 months ago

I'd be quite surprised, and disappointed, if KU wins this lawsuit.

JayCeph 12 years, 2 months ago

On a side note, here is pretty nice article about RussRob trying to make it to the NBA:http://www.kansas.com/249/story/460491.htmlIt'd be nice to see this sort of thing come from KUSports but, until then, we'll have to settle for Wichita's angle.

Matt Kenton 12 years, 2 months ago

I don't understand this... If KU is saying, 'we like what you're doing, you just need to pay us our royalties,' then that's okay (I guess). But does KU want to run these guys out of business and remove their store from Mass Street? Look at all the free publicity they are getting from these shirts. And some of them are hilarious, why would you want to fight that? The culture at KU games (especially football) has really changed, and all the blue t-shirts in the crowd are a big part of that. And it's obvious when you see one that the message on the shirt is not coming from the University. Some of them might be a little crude, but let's not forget... this is college.

RckChalkJeff 12 years, 2 months ago

If Joe is forced to start paying royalties..then they better let him put a Jayhawk on the shirts too.

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