Not only is their campus ruled by warring athletes, but the University of Kansas also has roving gangs of vicious attorneys who will inflict even worse pain if you cross their path. The owners of JOE-COLLEGE.COM found out about that the hard way on Monday.
(If Larry Sinks pokes his head out of his store and sees his own shadow, there will be six more weeks of litigation)
That’s when a federal judge ruled that Larry Sinks and Clark Oth, owners of the sports apparel store and web site, were guilty of trademark infringement. They must pay Kansas Athletics Inc. $667,507 in attorney fees and expenses from the case involving their KU-themed T-shirts. Yikes.
Sinks, Oth and Victory Sportswear LLC, collectively known as JOE-COLLEGE.COM, is just your friendly neighborhood sports apparel shop that sells shirts with slogans such as these:
You can get away with a lot of things in this life, but messing with a major university’s product licensing is not one of them. Their flying monkeys will be on you in minutes, and retribution will be thorough. How about a little fire, scarecrow?
These people will even sue the trees of the forest. I would seriously rather cross the mob.
And judging by that shirt pictured above left, the Hard Rock Cafe may have a lawsuit as well.
And so the KU attorneys leave another broken individual in their wake.
Sinks, contacted a few minutes after he’d learned of the ruling, said that he was “numb” and uncertain about what effect the decision would have on him or his business.
The original court case left him responsible for paying $127,000 in penalties, for selling shirts that jurors said could be confused with official KU-licensed merchandise. The order to cover fees and expenses adds another $667,507 to that.
“I got that part loud and clear,” Sinks said. “I just don’t know what it means for me. I don’t know the appeals process. I simply don’t know what it means. …
“I don’t have it (the money), I can tell you that.”
Oh yeah, Sinks and Oth actually owe $794,507 all told. Some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed and turn on the shirt press.
(Next to be sued: No, not Baby Mangino!)