T-Shirt color schemes and trademark infringement

patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
edited December 2008 in Marketing

For all of you that sell t-shirts, there is a new case [

December 15, 2008

] that may be of interest.  Basically, a company called Smack Apparel was selling t-shirts that included school colors for a number of Universities with successful football programs.   Smack Apparel got spanked, even though everybody agreed that the color schemes on the t-shirts were not registered trademarks.  What each shirt had was a color scheme and indicia that somehow made reference to the University or the team accomplishments.  For example, the shirt said something about a victory in the Sugar Bowl, national championship, etc….


Each shirt gave the possible impression there was some sort of affiliation or sponsorship between Smack Apparel and the University – even if the official University logo was not used. 



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