'Johnny Football' files another trademark infringement suit

By Marilyn Tennissen | Mar 5, 2013

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is used to taking hits on the football field, but not to his pocketbook or his brand.

The Heisman Trophy winner has filed another lawsuit against a T-shirt vendor illegally using Manziel’s “Johnny Football” nickname. Manziel’s company JMAN2 Enterprises LLC has registered the name as a trademark.

As the Record previously reported, an infringement suit was filed on Feb. 15 against another seller. That suit claimed Eric Vaughn was selling “Keep Calm and Johnny Football” T-shirts.

The latest suit, filed in the Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas, claims trademark infringement by Kevin Doolan and his business Cubby Tees. The company is selling “Johnny Football” and “Johnny Heisman” shirts on its website. The website states it sells "Unofficial apparel for genuine sports fans."

Cubby Tees was allegedly served with cease and desist letters from Texas A&M and from Manziel in November and December 2012, the suit claims.

The defendant is accused of trademark infringement under the Lanham Act, Texas unfair competition, including right of publicity, palming off and misappropriation.

JMAN2 Enterprises is asking the court for injunctive relief and an award of damages for the unlawful sale of goods, exemplary damages, attorney’s fees, interest, and court costs.

The plaintiff is represented by J. Bennett White and Virgil J. Jordan of J. Bennett White PC in Tyler.

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