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Penn State Sues Vintage Brand For Trademark Infringements

Penn State is suing an online apparel shop for trademark infringement, according to court documents filed Monday.

The 56-page lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, argues Vintage Brand is selling items that feature “virtually identical” designs using Penn State trademarks, including the Nittany Lion logo and university seal. Penn State claims Vintage Brand’s products are “a deliberate attempt to take advantage of and capitalize” on the university’s trademarked designs.

A sample screenshot of Vintage Brand’s Penn State items currently on sale

Penn State is seeking up to $2 million in damages from Vintage Brand, according to the lawsuit. It’s also asking Vintage Brand to give up any profits from merchandise that used Penn State logos or designs.

The university’s lawyers wrote that Vintage Brand never cut a deal with Penn State to use trademarked or copyrighted designs for apparel. In the suit, lawyers argued that Vintage Brand’s unlicensed items cause confusion among shoppers.

The lawsuit also claimed Vintage Brand was a “serial infringer” of copyrighted designs. It said the website has been sued by at least a dozen other schools, including Purdue.

Vintage Brand did not initially respond to a request for comment Wednesday. Per university policy, Penn State does not offer comments on pending litigations.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt is a senior majoring in journalism and Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football aficionado, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza and "Arrested Development" quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate him.

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