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ABA team sued for trademark infringement


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Kentucky Colonels group filing trademark suit against ABA team

Ed Green Business First Staff Writer

Published: August 12, 2004

------------------------------------------------------------

A Louisville nonprofit that has operated in Kentucky since the 1930s

has

filed a trademark-infringement suit in federal court to stop

organizers

of a professional basketball team from selling merchandise with the

Kentucky Colonels name.

Glen Bastin, chief operating officer for the Honorable Order of

Kentucky

Colonels, claims the owners of the planned Kentucky Colonels team of

the

American Basketball Association are violating the organization's

trademark by selling T-shirts, golf shirts, hats and other

merchandise

bearing the Kentucky Colonels name.

The organization named in the lawsuit is Building Champions LLC.

Court

filings say the organization is based in Indianapolis.

Bastin said the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, a nonprofit

group

that raises money for Kentucky charities, was given the trademark

rights

in February to use the name on merchandise it sells.

"We don't, for instance, have a trademark on basketball teams," he

said.

"But they are offering items that say Kentucky Colonels."

He added that circumstances are different from the 1960s and 1970s,

when

the former Kentucky Colonels ABA team and the nonprofit group both

used

the name.

"It's different because today, we own the trademark," he said. "At

the

time of the old ABA team, the people who were involved in our old

organization" didn't hold the trademark rights. "We are quite a

different organization now ... and I have to protect our trademark.

I

can't allow our intellectual property to be usurped by someone

else."

In a news release, Building Champion said that it is surprised by

the

lawsuit and had expected "this matter to be worked out amicably."

The release said it is the company's "strong position that the use

of

'Kentucky Colonels' in connection with its basketball team and any

related merchandise could not possibly cause any confusion."

The Kentucky Colonels basketball team will begin playing in

November,

playing 18 home games from mid-November to mid-March at Louisville

Gardens.

Copyright© American City Business Journals Inc. All rights reserved.

You can view this article on the web at:

http://louisville.bizjournals.com/louisvil...09/daily27.html

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I know we all hate the ABA and their logos. But that kinda sucks for the team. They were using the name from the Old ABA and all. I know they probably don't have any reason they will win, but still, it does suck.

I'd bet their logo would be worse after this.

peace,

pc

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The lawsuit doesn't require them to change the name, just not to sell merchandise with the name anymore. Personally, I feel this is a low blow for this group, many teams(little league, etc.) use the name, it's really quite common there. I was thinking perhaps the team could give them free tickets, and a cut of merchandise/ticket sales for their organization, but this is really kind of a dumb lawsuit. <_<

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The lawsuit doesn't require them to change the name, just not to sell merchandise with the name anymore. Personally, I feel this is a low blow for this group, many teams(little league, etc.) use the name, it's really quite common there. I was thinking perhaps the team could give them free tickets, and a cut of merchandise/ticket sales for their organization, but this is really kind of a dumb lawsuit. <_<

Hate to hijack the thread but I just checked out your ABA site. Very nice. I also like the link to the RememberTheABA.com. I'm good friends with that guy, we play ball once a week. Great stuff.

</thread hijack>

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