ATLANTA, Ga., (November 6, 2006) — A significant ruling by Judge Sam Cummings of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas has further validated the efforts of universities to protect their brands against unlawful use of their respective trademarks. The Court granted summary judgment on all counts to Texas Tech University holding the defendant, John Spiegelberg, owner of the Lubbock retail establishment “Red Raider Outfitter” (www.redraideroutfitter.com) liable for willful and intentional trademark infringement, unfair competition and dilution.
The ruling means the defendant can no longer produce items with Texas Tech’s trademarks TECH, RAIDERLAND, and WRECK ‘EM TECH, as well as Texas Tech’s “Raider Red” mascot. The ruling also prevents the defendant from selling unlicensed college-related merchandise using Texas Tech’s well known scarlet-and-black color scheme.
“We regret having to make the choice to file a lawsuit against Red Raider Outfitters. Texas Tech never wants to find itself in the position of suing a local business owner. In this case, however, we believe Red Raider Outfitters forced us to take actions to protect our marks. Raider Red, Wreck ‘em Tech, Raiderland and many other symbols and phrases are important parts of the spirit and image of Texas Tech. We took this action not only to protect our trademark but also to protect licensed vendors who properly pay royalty fees to produce Texas Tech merchandise,” said Craig Wells, Texas Tech Senior Associate AD.
In addition to making clear that the scarlet-and-black color scheme and other indicia will be protected against unlawful trademark infringement, the Court awarded Texas Tech all of the defendant’s gross profits (totaling approximately $3 million).
“We are pleased with the Court’s decision, which comes on the heels of a recent case protecting the school colors and trademarks of several other major universities. These important decisions should assist schools across the nation in protecting their valuable brand images,” said Charlie Henn, a lead member of the Kilpatrick Stockton team, representing the Plaintiff.
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