U.S. News | Pennsylvania State University Sues Business Owner for Trademark Infringement

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Pennsylvania State University has filed a lawsuit in U.S. Middle District Court against a business owner of a sports beer brewing company, Paul Parshall of Naples alleging trademark infringement.

The plaintiff alleges that the sports beer brewing company used the university’s trademarked names and logos to sell beer bottles, cigars and t-shirts without permission.

Penn State reportedly said that the defendant willfully infringed on its trademark to exploit and tarnish the fame and goodwill of the university.

According to the lawsuit, Penn State alleges that Parshall filed to trademark “Penn State Nittany Beer” and “Penn State Nittany Brewing Co” with the Pennsylvania Department of State in August 2016.

Parshall successfully registered “Penn State Nittany Cigars” through the Illinois trademark system in May 2019 despite been aware of the “Penn State” and “Nittany Lion” trademarks owned by the university.

The plaintiff reportedly said that the infringement has caused lots of damages, confusion and tarnishing of Penn State’s goodwill and reputation.

Penn State claims Parshall has attempted to register trademarks through the federal system several times but never succeeded after United State Patent and Trademark Office noticed the obvious infringement.

Penn State reportedly sent two cease and desist letters to Parshall in June 2018 and June 2019 demanding Parshall stop using the university’s protected trademarks and destroy all products with the marks.

The suit alleges that Parshall refused to stop using the mark arguing that the marks he filed were available and not owned by the university.

Penn State seeks jury and injunction to stop Parshall from selling items with its name and logo, deliver all products with Penn State-registered trademarks to the university, and pay statutory damages of up to $2 million to Penn State.

The case is still ongoing.

The Pennsylvania State University v. Parshall

Judge:Matthew W Brann
Court:Pennsylvania Middle District Court
Case #:4:19-cv-01299
Nature of Suit:Trademark
Cause:Trademark Infringement
Case Filed:July 26, 2019
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About Nathaniel Adebayo 430 Articles
Nathaniel is a News Reporting Intern at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch (NLIPW). He has a passion for writing, capacity building and social media marketing. He is a graduate of Federal University of Technology, Minna, where he graduated with BTECHAGRIC. He is a member of Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) and the National Union of Campus Journalist (NUCJ). Nathaniel has served as Editor-in-Chief for a number of magazines and as a contributor to various online repositories. Email: anathaniel@nlipw.com

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