Detroit Vs Everybody founder to demand Barstool Sports stop selling T-shirt – Crain’s Detroit Business
- Attorney plans cease-and-desist letter to Barstool Sports
- Shirt sold read “Barstool Vs Everybody’
- Not the first time Tommey Walker has had to fight over trademark
An attorney representing the founder of the Detroit Vs Everybody clothing linesaid he has sent a letter demanding a popular and sometimes controversial sports website stop selling T-shirts that the company says are infringing upon a trademark.
Joe Bellanca, an entertainment, media and intellectual property attorney at Bloomfield Hills-based Hertz Schram PC, which also has an office in Detroit, said a cease-and-desist letter was sent Tuesday to Barstool Sports after the New York-based sports blog began selling a “Barstool Vs Everybody” T-shirt for $25 on its website. He declined to provide a copy of the letter.
Tommey Walker Jr., the founder of the Detroit Vs. Everybody clothing line, on Monday night deferred comment to Bellanca.
“We will tell them not to use it, that they can’t use it anymore, unless they have permission, and in this case, permission wasn’t granted,” Bellanca said.
“As an exclusive owner of the trademark registration for ‘Vs Everybody’ with respect to clothing, Tommey has the right to prevent anybody from using the trademark without permission. We don’t have any affiliation with Barstool Sports, and we closely guard our licensee relationships and respect them.”
At issue is a trademark Walker received in 2013 for the “Vs Everybody” language on “wearable garments and clothing, namely, shirts.” The trademark application was filed Jan. 20, 2013 and registered on Dec. 24, 2013, according to U.S. Patent Office records.
An email was sent to Barstool Sports on Tuesday afternoon seeking comment.
Barstool Sports was founded by David Portnoy, a University of Michigan graduate. ESPN brought “Barstool Van Talk” to the popular cable network’s ESPN2, but the show was canceled after just one episode yesterday after uproar over comments Portnoy and others made in 2014 about Samantha Ponder, host of “Sunday NFL Countdown.” The website has also been criticized for misogyny and vulgarity.
Detroit Vs Everybody launched in 2012 online. It has stores in Greektown, Eastern Market, Southfield and Dearborn at Fairlane Town Center. New stores are expected in Clinton Township and Sterling Heights soon, Crain’s reported earlier this month.
If legal action is taken, it wouldn’t be the first time Walker has accused someone of infringing on his brand. He recently said NFL star Marshawn Lynch did so by wearing an “Everybody Vs Trump” shirt “that was not sanctioned by us.”
“An unaffiliated Oakland-based brand infringed on our intellectual property and Marshawn Lynch just wore the shirt. We are currently taking legal action against the brand and will keep you updated,” told Crain’s blogger Mark S. Lee.