San Antonio fast food chain Fred's Fish Fry Inc. has sued an array of business owners and a local artist over a parody sports jersey that mashes up its logo with that of the NBA's Spurs.
The suit, filed earlier this week in U.S. District Court in San Antonio, accuses 21 defendants, including Michael Baez of Bexar County Social Apparel, Dapemo.com and Bestteestore.com, of copyright infringement. The petition also names Adrian Galvan, the San Antonio artist whose design of the parody uniform went viral.
The Fred's chain appears to be taking no prisoners in the suit, which seeks all profits the defendants earned from selling jerseys and merchandise with similarities to Fred's red and blue logo.
Galvan entered into a licensing agreement with Wade and Williamson to create and sell jerseys, a move the complaint alleges was an infringement on the restaurant chain's federal trademark registrations.
Wade and Williamson officials told the Current that Galvan entered into the licensing agreement on Nov. 9 while the Fred's jersey was being sold on the business' website.
However, Galvan disputes that claims, saying that he "wanted nothing to do" with the letting Wade and Williamson produce merchandise using parts of the Fred's logo. Instead, he only entered into a verbal agreement with the company for the rights to two of his other designs, he added.
Galvan maintains that he has yet to make a cent off his licensing agreement with Wade and Williamson or any other vendors named in the lawsuit.
Wade and Williamson declined comment on the lawsuit and specifics of its deal with Galvan.Fred's holds federal trademarks for the fish logo, the checkered border and the red, white and blue fish decor found on its carry-out boxes, according to the suit. Those same images were incorporated into the jersey design allegedly printed and sold by the defendants.
"Under common law, whoever uses the mark first is the senior user, and they have the right to prevent people from coming along after them and adopting the same or similar mark in order to mislead consumers into purchasing their products," Brandon T. Cook, an attorney for Fred's law firm — Gunn, Lee & Cave — told the Current.
In addition to seeking profits from the merchandise, Fred's is asking that all defendants stop creating and selling items that resemble the restaurant's logo and that the defendants pay for all court costs and attorney fees incurred by the company.
Fred's Fish Fry still plans on releasing its own officially licensed Spurs-mashup jersey in coming weeks, company spokesperson John Villanueva told the Current last month via email.
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