Johnny Football is going pro, and he’s taking his T-shirts with him.
Last week, Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel, also known as “Johnny Football,” was drafted to the NFL by the Cleveland Browns.
Manziel faced some courtroom battles last year in addition to the battle on the gridiron. At least two vendors were selling “Johnny Football” shirts and paraphernalia without authorization and were sued by Manziel, but it looks like the football player can put those issues behind him.
As previously reported, Manziel’s company JMAN2 Enterprises LLC has registered the name “Johnny Football” as a trademark.
JMAN2 filed its first suit on Feb. 15, 2013, against Eric Vaughn in U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Texas-Tyler Division.
That suit claimed Eric Vaughn was selling “Keep Calm and Johnny Football” T-shirts. (Case No. 6:13-cv-00158).
Manziel settled with Vaughn on Oct. 31, 2013.
Court papers stated that the parties reached an agreement to settle all matters in dispute between them on a confidential basis and resolved to the satisfaction of both parties. All claims were dismissed with prejudice.
The dismissal was signed by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider in Tyler.
J. Bennett White of J. Bennett White PC in Tyler represented Manziel.
Vaughn was represented by Joseph Bahgat of Hub City Law Group in Brunswick, N.J.
A second suit, also in the Tyler court, was filed March 1, 2013, against Kevin Doolan and his business Cubby Tees (Case No. 6:13-cv-00215). The company was selling “Johnny Football” and “Johnny Heisman” shirts on its website.
JMAN2 claims it served Cubby Tees with cease and desist letters from Texas A&M and from Manziel in November and December 2012 but the company did not comply.
On Nov. 4, 2013, Judge Schneider signed a permanent injunction against Cubby Tees.
Doolan and Cubby Tees are permanently restrained from making, marketing or selling T-shirts or any other merchandise bearing the name, image, picture or likeness of Johnny Manziel.
Doolan was also ordered to turnover any inventory, electronic designs, templates and patters in tangible and in electronic form which bear the mark “Johnny Football” or T-shirts that bear the name, image, picture or likeness of Johnny Manziel, the court order states.
The judge found that JMan2 Enterprises was “entitled to equitable relief in the form of an order, and that the restraints set forth in the order are reasonable and necessary to protect plaintiff’s interest.”
In addition, Manziel agreed not to use any Cubby Tees material that is turned over to him without the express written permission of the defendant.
Each party was responsible for its own costs