Joe-College’s Last Stand? KU Football vs. KU Basketball – Taking the High Road

Cruising Lawrence last Saturday on a home football game weekend two things became wildly apparent…

First there were tons of people – student-looking types mostly – wearing Joe-College T-shirt creations. And second, the downtown T shirt shop was flooded with students and fans looking for something way over the top tacky rather than the standard issue, boring KU fan wear.

And that’s the difference between Joe-College T-shirts and the garden variety, mother-may-I, Lew Perkins approved editions.

Now before the anonymous KU Athletics Department interns flood the comments section with Joe-College got what he deserved, let’s make one thing perfectly clear. In his wildest dreams, owner Larry Sinks never willfully infringed on KU by putting out blue T-shirts reading “Muck Fizzou” and “Our Coach is Phat.” Even though they are blue and sell like hot cakes in KU land.

So may I advise: get a clue!

Which brings us to today’s Joe-College T Tale about two of Sinks latest shirts…

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16 Responses to Joe-College’s Last Stand? KU Football vs. KU Basketball – Taking the High Road

  1. Anonymous says:

    Larry may have lost a battle, a major battle at that, but if he can hang on or around through the BK process he will win the war. Really surprised the ACLU hasn’t chimed in or opined in some way.

  2. Anonymous says:

    joe college is a leach. He’s a leach because a after he was warned about selling shirts that any
    knowledgeable attorney would have told him not
    to sell he continues to sell them.
    So he is a money hungry scumbag.
    Hearne…noone gives a fuck about this money
    hungry scumbag. At first I felt sorry for him.
    But as a businessman I have to feel he’s also
    a thief. He’s a common thief who tried to steal
    someone else property. And he took a chance
    and felt the university would not go after
    To show what a scumbag this guy is look at his
    bankruptcy papers. I want to know what suppliers
    will not get their money. What small businesses
    will not be paid this scumbag owes. What
    other small family owned companies will not be
    paid the money joe college owes.
    He’s a thief…a liar…and we’ll soon learn
    he’s a cheat when like all the other conmen who
    use bankruptcy to avoid paying their bills
    he stiff other “little” guys.
    Stop standing up for the whores in business.
    Stop trying to make us sorry for this lying
    He’s no different than the guys who ran enron..
    world com etc. but on a smaller scale.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Trey Hillman
    Please explain to me how printing words on a blue shirt is stealing?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well said, Trey. JoJo needs to spend a little more time examining the facts in this case and thinking it through. imho

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think this is an important event. Right now KU Athletics is a bullet proof franchise and J.College was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    I find it to be a disturbing trend that institutions like KU can bully small business like this.
    I bought blue shirt up there during KU’s championship run that says “Kansas Basketball” “Big Blue Nation” BFD…Who got hurt?
    Now they are going after beer companies who want to color the cans crimson and blue.
    KU like the Chiefs and Royals will learn that being successful is easy but staying successful is a bitch.

  6. Anonymous says:

    the facts are this. A legal forum decided that
    based on facts that joe college “stole” the
    copyrighted and legally protected property of
    the university of kansas.
    A friend of mine works for Gear for Sports, one of the largest college licensing companies in
    the nation. They use college logos and print them on apparel and pay royalty fees for using those logos. Thats the law.
    JoeCollege the “crook” took a copyrighted logo
    or property that was based probably on the
    font style/colors/usage/that was owned by the
    university of kansas. Remember KU is an educational institution and right now funding
    is cut back and the universities use these
    licensing dollars for students. So joe college
    wasn’t stealing from a large corporation..but
    from a college.
    KU felt that joe the thief was using their
    property and not paying them for that or using
    it in a bad manner. Joe stole their property
    and a legal forum found him guilty of doing that
    and so now he has to pay $667,000 in legal
    JOe lost…joe has to pay. A court finds him
    stealing property …joe has to pay.
    But I kcan’t wait to see who joe screws in the
    end. These Bankruptcies end of costing mom and
    pop suppliers. Joes creditors won’t get paid.
    He doesn’t pay the people who in good faith did
    business with.
    So joe college aint no saint. He fought his case…he lost…and now he’ll probably screw
    a lot of other people.
    KU generates millions of dollars with those
    logos and names. So really joe was ripping off
    the university. He knew it. So joe the small
    innocent businessman is really joe the p.o.s.
    He’s no little guy. He’s a thief according to the
    courts and deserves to be put out of business for
    his stupid business decisions.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Mike Bowlin
    jojo: It’s not that black and white. This court decision leaves a lot of questions unanswered. At some point in time it will be overturned and perhaps in some other venue it will be correctly settled. Larry Sinks might not be a saint but he got a raw deal. As for the money helping students. It’s not helping much. Kids coming out of college today are dumber than ever.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Rupert Pupkin
    Hearne Christopher is the go-to guy for quality legal opinions. All of us smokers really appreciated his deeply sourced reporting that the Kansas City smoking ban would be ruled unconstitutional.

  9. Anonymous says:

    “These Bankruptcies end of costing mom and
    pop suppliers. Joes creditors won

  10. Anonymous says:

    What no one has mentioned is that as a trademark holder, KU is more or less obligated to defend it every time it might be infringed. I agree that Perk is a dingus and they were over-the-top aggressive with JoColl, but if they didn’t bring this lawsuit, it weakens future trademark lawsuits they might bring against someone else. It lets the next person point to JoColl and rightfully say that KU is being selective in their enforcement of their trademark.

    BTW, it doesn’t matter if JoColl didn’t willfully infringe on KU’s trademark.

    After all this b.s. hand wringing about JoColl is over, what’s to keep someone from printing the 150 or so t-shirts that didn’t infringe? Not much. And if the jury verdict had any rhyme or reason to it, it should more or less act as a roadmap for whoever follows in JoColl’s shoes. And someone will, because there’s money to be made there.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately where the roadmap leads to, is that if somebody like KU wants to drop seven figures on an Atlanta law firm to hammer a local small fry, they have a pretty good shot at convincing a reasonably unsophisticated jury (I was the only Star staffer at the trial btw) that the words “Our coach can eat your coach” in white letters on a blue T-shirt is infringement.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Gimme a break…it’s not by accident that he chooses to use the same colors and fonts as the licensed products. You defending this jerk is a joke. Nothing but another FAIL by a beaker only this time it’s at the hands of another beaker. Classic

  13. Anonymous says:

    Rupert has it right. Hearne knows nothing about the facts of the case or the law. It’s just “big bad KU” and their “boring” fans (way to stay objective).

    And, Hearne – please continue to ignore the fact that Joe College is basically screwing every small business that decides to actually play by the rules and license merchandise legally.

    Now, go ahead and accuse me of being affiliated with KU because I have the unmitigated gall to actually disagree with you.

  14. Anonymous says:

    My personal opinion is that this is nothing more than a situation where Larry Sinks hacked off KU officials by not responding to them when he was asked to stop. There are so many examples of KU trademarks being used inappropriately. Think of all the businesses that use Jayhawk and the color blue in their logo. Do they pay a liscensing fee? As a small business owner you need to realize that you are taking on Goliath when you fight the KU Athletic Corporation.

    This could have been easily settled but Sinks in effect said “screw you” and sue me if you have the guts. He probably thought the negative publicity would stop KU from doing anything. That may have been true when Bob Fredrick was the Athletic Director but the new guys from the east coast took him on no matter the consequences and I believe it became personal. We are where we are today– a small business will go under and the Athletic Department will not make any more or less money because of the verdict. A mistake on both sides and really a big waste of time and money.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hearne, if one jury already set the precedent that some of JoColl’s t-shirts are NOT infringement, those designs should be fine to print. That’s half the point of having a trial, to establish that. If JoColl continued to print those shirts that were okay’d by the jury, KU couldn’t sue him for that again. Or, they could, but it’s a sure loser.

  16. Anonymous says:

    BTW, I love all the pious handwringing about small businesses. Small businesses and children can do no wrong in America.

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