After numerous discussions with MivaMan,LLC/Fastees.com and attempts to settle the matter, West Virginia University today (Feb. 9) filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court to stop the sale and production of the infringing merchandise.
The move was precipitated by the defendant’s recent flooding of the market with numerous infringing t-shirts.
WVU has over a dozen registered and common law trademarks, including the Flying WV logo, the words West Virginia University, the phrase Let’s Go Mountaineers and the words West Virginia when used in reference to WVU.
Hundreds of licensed vendors consistently and correctly use these WVU identifiers on merchandise that is sold to the public.MivaMan/Fastees.com is not one of them. It is not a licensed WVU vendor and has blatantly and intentionally infringed on a variety of WVU marks by mimicking uniforms of the athletic teams, WVU’s official colors and WVU’s official typeface on more than 15 offensive items, including West F* Virginia t-shirts.
“It is WVU’s responsibility to protect the reputation, integrity, image and goodwill of the University through the proper use of our federally-registered marks,” said Becky Lofstead, assistant vice president for University Communications. “We also have a responsibility to our alumni, friends, donors, students, parents and fans – all those who hold this University in such high regard.
“This is not simply a case of whether or not someone can use the name of the state. When used in reference to WVU in the way it is being done, this business owner is clearly attempting to affiliate his products with West Virginia University to trade off our goodwill and strong reputation for his profit.”
She added, “Rarely does a business owner defy the law when they learn they’ve used the WVU marks inappropriately. It’s usually a matter of bringing it to their attention and the practice stops. In this case, the business owner is clearly and knowingly violating the law.”
CONTACT: University Relations/News
Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.