A trademark dispute between sports artist Daniel Moore and the University of Alabama is set to reach the federal appeals court, it has been reported.
According to the Insurance Journal, the school originally filed an infringement suit in 2005, alleging that Mr. Moore had violated its intellectual property rights by painting its football players in their crimson and white uniforms.
He had failed to obtain permission from the school or team to create the artworks, while the suit claims the artist also reissued previously licensed prints without paying royalties.
Back in 2009, a federal judge found that Moore’s paintings and prints were protected, however other items such as promotional mugs were not.
Both parties chose to appeal this original judgement.
University spokeswoman Deborah Lane said, “While we regret the necessity of having to involve the courts in this matter, the lawsuit was necessary since we must protect the value and reputation of our trademarks, name, colors, indicia and logos, by determining who uses them, as well as when and how they are used.”
Mr. Moore said his art constitutes free speech protected by the US Constitution.
“We loved the district judge’s ruling that said my paintings and large prints have not, do not and will not infringe on the University of Alabama trademarks,” he stated.
The painter described this as “the meat and potatoes of the whole suit”.