On additional overview: reintroducing the OSU model problem | Oklahoma Information


CINCINNATI (AP) – A sixth panel on the U.S. appeals court has resumed Ohio State University’s trademark challenge to an online marketplace of items with Buckeye-related images like that of former championship-winning soccer coach Urban Meyer.

The three judges said that, unlike third-party online sales channels like Amazon and eBay, Redbubble Inc. is more than “just a passive broker”. The Cincinnati-based appeals court on Thursday ruled that Redbubble weaves its brand into products and “enables the creation of OSU-branded goods that would otherwise not have existed without Redbubble.”

Founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2006, Redbubble’s website provides independent artists and designers with the opportunity to connect with fans around the world. The company didn’t immediately respond to an email on Friday asking for comment on the ruling.

The state of Ohio has long made protecting its trademarks a high priority. The court ruling states that OSU-licensed products have generated more than $ 100 million in the past seven years. The company had sent an injunction to Redbubble in 2017, but no agreement was reached and the offending items continued to be sold.

Current items for sale on Redbubble include t-shirts with an overview of the state of Ohio and the tagline “Urban Country”, as well as others referring to a variety of colleges and NFL teams, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, Meyer will coach this year after winning College National titles at Ohio State and the University of Florida.

“The OSU has a proprietary interest in Urban Meyer’s personality,” said Judge John B. Nalbandian’s ruling. Redbubble claimed it played “a passive role” with vendors uploading Meyer’s image and with consumers buying items with his resemblance.

The ruling sends the case back to the US District Court in Columbus for more information on the issue and the review of the OSU’s claims.


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