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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 proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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