NOTE: This communication was not instigated by UF. While 'they' were CC:ed on it, this isnt' something that they instigated, as far as I know. The feedback I've received from people within the University has been nothing but positive, so please don't mistake this as me painting a "UF VS ME" situation. I think that the UofF would probably roll their eyes at this. I think this is a 'watchdog' organization simply doing their job, and understandably so, just using a method and tact that doesn't sit well with me. (Namely, no tact.)

Well. Maybe we're not getting sued. It's really tough to say. I received a nasty letter from some organization I'd never heard of, citing a rule that was similarly unfamiliar.

It seems to be the University of Florida has trademarked the word GATORS, and that as such, it is against the law to make a shirt, with university colors, that says GATOR on it, because you are infringing upon their trademark.

It makes sense that I can't make a shirt that says -University of Florida- on it, because I am not in fact, the University of Florida.

It makes sense that I can't make a shirt that says "Gators", using the trademark UF font and coloring.

But legal action because I used the word -GATOR-, on a T-Shirt? What if I just liked reptiles, and the colors orange and blue?

This is such an odd country that I can make a shirt that says "KILL BABIES. ESPECIALLY THE UGLY ONES." and suffer absolutely no repercussions, but if I use the singular form of the word GATORS on an orange and blue shirt..."This information will be used to determine the amount of damages and legal costs due for your company’s unauthorized use of the Marks. "


Here's the letter, in it's entirety, in case you are bored.

And my response.

The most frustrating part of all of this, is that I don't believe I am doing any harm to the University. As far as I know, the university isn't marketing shirts that say "I'm a Gator", if they were, I would stop.

Similarly, based on the feedback I received, hardly anyone knew that UF was ranked #2 in the Kiplinger Academic review. Now, as a result of my video, as of today (1/6) nearly 105,000 people have been informed. That's a good thing. I've had positive feedback from within the University, and even Kiplinger itself. I'm pretty sure this is not -bad- press for the University of Florida.

I live in Gainesville. I grew up here. There are 8 gazillion stores and business entities using the orange and blue colors, and the word "Gator". Check the phone book. Everything from Gator Aluminum to Gator Tree Service. I'm fairly certain none of them have received Cease and Desist letters. And I'm fairly certain every single one of them has "clear intent to market these [services] to fans of the University of Florida."

It is fairly likely that someone has purchased drinks from Gator Spirits & Fine Wines and then gone and Gator DUIed, or maybe Gator Domestic Batteried or worse. What's the worst thing a person wearing one of these shirts has ever done? This is the association that the CLC wants to clamp down on? Come on, really.

I'm a relatively law abiding person, so I took the shirts down, but I'm frustrated, and here's why. This is exactly how this situation should've unfolded.

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