Complaint filed against Lund, Brown over trademark violation

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Student Government presidential candidate Thor Lund and running mate Wills Brown came under speculation by the Election Supervisory Board on Tuesday for possibly violating University trademark rules in their promotional materials.

Law school representative Austin Carlson filed a complaint against the candidates Tuesday, claiming they disregarded an earlier Board decision that ordered them to take down materials it deemed violated trademark rules. Carlson said he felt Lund and Brown should be issued a fine or a moratorium to make up for the unfair advantage they may have gained using UT trademarked property.

The Board has 24 hours to release a decision on the case. The SG presidential elections will be held today and Thursday.

The promotional materials in question were photos on Lund’s campaign website where he and Brown engaged in use of the “Hook ‘Em” hand sign.

Lund said he was not worried when a complaint was filed against him and Brown because they have run a very clean campaign. Gardner/Guevara campaign manager Alexander Jones filed a trademark violation complaint against the pair in February. The Board found the candidates to be in violation of University trademark rules Feb. 19 but did not issue punishment.

Lund said he and Brown did not violate an earlier Board ruling because they took the materials in question down on Feb. 19. Lund said Carlson’s complaint identified a photo the Board did not rule as a violation at the first hearing.

“I don’t think we had an unfair advantage,” Lund said. “In regards to the last hearing, [the Board] said if the trademark was not the focus of the picture it was not a problem.”

Lund said any fine imposed by the Board would not affect his campaign because he and Brown have spent only about half of their $1,020 total campaign spending limit.

According to the University’s Office of Trademark Licensing, only organizations registered with the Office of the Dean of Students may use the trademarked property. Furthermore, groups may not use the marks in a manner that would encourage endorsement or approval.

Carlson said he does not feel the violation was intentional and argued in Lund and Brown’s defense.

“I don’t want these candidates to be disqualified,” Carlson said. “I just wanted to be consistent to make sure the decision was upheld. [This complaint] is not to the magnitude of my complaint against Gardner/Guevara.”

Printed on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 as: Lund, Brown face trademark violation complaint from ESB