Obviously, I'm not fan of KU. The longtime reader of this blog is aware of that.
But I'd like to put all rivalry aside for the moment and focus on this tragic story from the local NBCActionNews affiliate.
It seems a callous, low-class businessman from Lawrence has been blatantly undermining the fragile economic state of the University of Kansas.
Larry Sinks, owner of Joe-College, a sports apparel store in downtown Lawrence, has been giving KU the bird for years, systematically ripping off the University's trademarks and copyrights.
The university has finally had enough and has rightly filed a 109-page lawsuit against the t-shirt bootlegger.
"Hawk Basketball," "Kansas Swim Team," or simply "Kansas" is printed on jerseys singled out by the University of Kansas in the lawsuit as examples of trademark infringement.Sinks' attempts to slither through loopholes in the trademark laws haven't impressed the band of overworked lawyers from the small university. According to the story, the victims in the heinous crime hope that common sense will rule out in the end against the Big T-Shirt business interests.
“We don't believe the word Kansas is a registered trademark,” said shop owner Larry Sinks.
Sinks has papered his store with signs warning don't shop here for licensed merchandise.
“We don't use the word Jayhawks. We don't use rock chalk Jayhawk. We don't use the bird. We don't use anything that KU has claimed they own,” said Sinks.
KU has claimed even if the shirt does not have the Jayhawk or say Kansas University they can still make an argument that it's their property saying, "anyone with a mind knows what it means, and that's why we have it federally trademarked."The little college on the hill is desperate to defend its trademarks because of the fiscal damage Sinks is causing.
Already Sinks' actions have cut into the budget so much, that KU has had to lay off three students who were being paid to take tests for KU football players. One of the students was at a loss for what to do next.
"That job was the only thing that allowed me to shop at J.Crew every weekend. I guess now I'll have to go work at the McDonald's with some of the KU alumni."Sinks actions are also draining funds from the KU athletic budget. Last week, KU Athletic Director Lew Perkins announced a $40,000 cut in football coach Mark Mangino's food per diem. Already, Mangino has lost 150 pounds, drooping from 450 to 300.
Given these facts, I'm calling on all college football fans everywhere to band together to boycott Sinks' business with its diabolical practices. This must not be allowed to continue.
tagged: t-shirt, Sinks, Lew Perkins, sports, football, KSU, K-State, Lawrence, Mark Mangino, Jayhawks