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Collegiate Licensing Company

Hall Of Shame Member
Added April 15, 2006

Last Updated February 14, 2011

UPDATE - February 14, 2011 -
Some yo-yo named Kortny Ficke is now lying for CLC concerning what it considers to be infringing. Kortny signs her emails as being an "Online Enforcement Assistant", which translates to under-trained, all-around flunky who makes minimum wage to troll the internet looking for perceived trademark infringements. Like dimwit James D. Aronowitz, she is stuck on stupid by referring to Au-Tomotive Gold, Inc. v. Volkswagen of America, Inc as their basis for their ethically deficient conduct.

While the charms may be licensed, you have created a new product that incorporates the University's trademarks, but has not been licensed by the school. Notwithstanding the disclaimer, consumers are still going to be confused as to approval. A disclaimer does not address the issue of post-sale confusion.

Except, Kortny, post-sale confusion is not applied by the courts to the use of authentic merchandise. Read our analysis of over 90 federal courts cases here. Post-sale confusion is applied to counterfeits and knockoffs. But then, how can we expect a trademark troll to actually read and comprehend the law as applied?

And trademarks are an indicator of source of a product, not whether or not the use of the authentic trademarked article was approved.

UPDATE - July 15, 2010 -
It seems that one James D. Aronowitz, who refers to himself as Associate General Counsel at CLC, has taken it upon himself to pester internet sellers about perfectly lawful uses of collegiate material that has been lawfully acquired. He bases his latest attack upon the 9th Circuit's 2010 flawed ruling Au-Tomotive Gold, Inc. v. Volkswagen of America, Inc., 603 F. 3d 1133. James D. Aronowitz does not read well. His emails also indicate that he is not very bright. Perhaps that is why he is working as Associate General Counsel for CLC instead as some cushy corporate lawyer at some fancy law firm with a lot of offices and a lot of billing. The word LOSER LAWYER comes to mind. That is what a loser lawyer does - distorts court decisions and then lies to hapless but legitimate sellers in an attempt to bully them into compliance of fabricated but vacuous claims of infringement.

It appears that after whining to the seller in question for a while, it seems that one James D. Aronowitz, who refers to himself as Associate General Counsel at CLC, then turns the issue over to the college in question. We have a letter sent by Notre Dame that quotes James D. Aronowitz and Notre Dame bases its attack on the same flawed court case, Au-Tomotive Gold, Inc. v. Volkswagen of America, Inc. We deconstruct the unfounded logic of Au-Tomotive Gold upon which loser lawyer Aronowitz and Notre Dame base their idiocy. Click Here to read why Au-Tomotive Gold does not apply and our recommended reply to the nonsense of Notre Dame and the CLC.

Collegiate Licensing Company's website address is Collegiate Licensing Company is located at 290 Interstate North Circle, Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30339 Phone 770.956.0520 What we have here is another failure to communicate. These arrogant assholes terminated 67 auctions on eBay by a seller named Hovihats because Hovihats was using licensed collegiate fabric to make scrub top hats. Collegiate Licensing Company claims the scrub top hats are derivatives. Bull. Under Batlin Vs Snyder, 536 F.2d 486 (2d Cir. 1976), recognized by most federal courts, in order for something to qualify as a derivative it has to be copyrightable in its own right. A scrub hat made from licensed fabric would never qualify for a copyright you CLC nitwits.

CLC seems to have some pea-brain named Maria Stanfield handling their emails. She's CLC's Senior Legal Assistant which sounds more like in-house-moron to us. Hovihats had gone through this with CLC two years earlier and was told to add a disclaimer to her store, which she did. Maria claimed Hovihats was using unlicensed fabrics which Hovihats refuted.

Maria stated:

"Creating a derivative product requires a license. I have your contact information and will have one of our attorneys follow up with you in writing"

Except for a few things, Maria. A derivative has to be in of iteself also copyrightable. See Batlin, Second District Court of Appeals, which established this requirement based upon copyright law. Also see Derivatives on this web site. Also, look at Precious Moments vs La Infantil, First District Court, 1997, where Precious Moments lost trying to stop La Infantil from making bedding from licensed fabric because of the First Sale Doctrine. The Court flatly stated that making something from licensed fabric was not a derivative.

Making fabric items from licensed fabricis not creating a derivative. A scrub hat made from licensed fabric depicting the University of Somewhere is not copyrightable and therefor it is not a derivative. Maria, where did you go to law school? As a legal assistant, are you a lawyer? Are there adults at CLC supervising you at play?

Seems some dimwit from Sykel named Howard Leibowitz called Hovihats and was happy to hear her auctions were terminated. Hey Howard, why don't you and your idiot buddy Sy Garfinkel get a life? We know you can't get a lawyer. You're too stupid and both of you are low-life cowards. Instead of taking action yourself we believe you cried to CLC to do your illegal dirty work. And, Sy, we are still awaiting the law suit for defamation you claimed you were going to file against us years ago.

It appears Collegiate Licensing Company has joined the ranks of Trademark Extortionists. We have a cease & desist letter dated December 2007, wherein they indicate they want money from the alleged infringer or they will recommend legal action by the "institutions". The problem here is the alleged infringer was using licensed collegiate fabrics to make and sell things. That is not infringing. But that did not stop James D. Aronowitz, Associate General Counsel for CLC, from making the claims.

We have located two federal courts cases concerning the use of fabric to make items to sell:

In Precious Moments vs La Infantil, 1997, the federal court invoked the first sale doctrine in denying Precious Moments attempts to block the use of its licensed fabrics to make bedding for sale. The 1st Circuit Court said making a fabric item from fabric lacked any originality so it was not copyright infringement. Since then, M&M/Mars, Disney Enterprises, Major League Baseball, United Media (Peanuts fabric), Sanrio (Hello Kitty fabrics), and Debbie Mumm, have been sued when these companies tried to block the eBay sales of items hand-crafted from their licensed fabrics. Every one of them settled rather than risk losing the issue in court.

In Scarves By Vera, Inc. v. American Handbags, Inc, 188 F. Supp. 255 - US: Dist. Court, SD New York 1960, American Handbags was using towels manufactured by Vera to make handbags for sale. On some of these handbags made with plaintiff's towels there could be seen, at the bottom, the name Vera coupled with the figure of a Scarab or Ladybug, all three of which were registered trademarks of Vera. The judge rejected Vera's copyright claims.

It should be noted that in both cases the judges required the defendants to provide disclaimers attached to the items because the items were being sold in stores. The disclaimers were to plainly disavow any relationship between the manufacturer of the item and the trademark owner. This was done so "an ordinary, intelligent purchaser" would not be misled that there was any connection. When selling on-line, a prominent, highly visible and well-placed disclaimer, such as our recommended Tabberone Disclaimer, would likely serve the same purpose and legal need as the disclaimers required by the courts. Precious Moments disclaimer court quotation and Scarves By Vera disclaimer court quotation.




In an effort to provide a balanced view, we make the following offer to anyone who feels they have been wrongly accused on this web site.

If you, or your company, have been referenced on these pages, and you would like the chance to post a rebuttal, we will post your rebuttal (provided it is in good taste) so others can read it. The rebuttal must be submitted in a format that can easily be converted into HTML. We reserve the right to alter the rebuttal to make it more readable. However, we will not alter the content (unless there is offensive material to be removed). We also reserve the right to comment on any rebuttal received. Emails protesting the content of this web site may be treated as rebuttals by us at our discretion.

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