KU Wins Trademark Lawsuit

July 14, 2008

TOPEKA, Kan. – A jury in Federal District Court in Topeka Monday ruled that three defendants willfully infringed upon trademarks owned by the University of Kansas. The lawsuit involved T-shirts produced and sold by Larry Sinks, Victory Sportswear LLC and Clark Orth.

The jury awarded KU $8,000 in unpaid royalties. The jury also required the defendants to pay to KU all of the profits from the infringing shirts, which amounted to approximately $119,000.

“We are pleased that the jury unanimously found in KU’s favor on all six counts, including federal and state trademark infringement, unfair competition, and dilution of our trademarks,” Kansas Athletics Director Lew Perkins said. “We agree with the jury that all three defendants willfully infringed on and diluted our marks. This is an important victory for the University of Kansas, its reputation and its students, who receive approximately $1 million annually in scholarships from trademark revenue.

“This verdict provides support and protection for our 490 licensees who operate within the rules as well as the hundreds of retailers around the country who sell our licensed product,” Perkins added. “And it helps to preserve an important source of revenue for scholarships for students who need assistance to attend college and earn a degree.

“We were also pleased that the judge stated her intent to enter an injunction prohibiting any further sale of the infringing shirts,” Perkins said.

“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.