by Mike Masnick
Mon, Dec 21st 2009 2:14pm
I could have sworn we wrote about this case earlier, but I'm searching around and can't find the post. It involves Daniel Moore, a painter and fan of the University of Alabama's football team. Given both those things, he's been painting portraits of some of the team's biggest achievements. Now, you might think that any normal person (or university) would be thrilled that its fans had taken things to the level of painting artistic portraits of the team's greatest moments. What a wonderful statement. Not the University of Alabama, however. It sued Moore for infringement. And while a court found that there's no trademark infringement if no Alabama logos are shown in the paintings, it also said that, even as such, he was barred from selling merchandise (like calendars) based on his paintings. Robert Ring points out that Moore is appealing the ruling, pointing out (reasonably) that if the paintings themselves don't infringe, it seems pretty damn hard to see why merchandise based on those same non-infringing painting would be barred. I'm even confused why there's an issue if the paintings had included Alabama logos. By that logic, any photographs that include a team logo would potentially be infringing as well, which makes no sense. But the biggest issue is why this is even an issue at all. The University should be thrilled that someone is helping promote their team the way Daniel Moore is.
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