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N.C. State sues car dealer over Wolfpack name

Posted September 13, 2010

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— North Carolina State University is suing a used car dealership in Raleigh, alleging that the business is infringing on the school's nickname and colors.

In its lawsuit against Wolfpack Auto Sales LLC and owner Fred Lynn, N.C. State is seeking a court order that upholds its trademark of the Wolfpack name and requires the dealership to stop using the name, as well as unspecified damages.

Wolfpack Auto Sales, at 3020 Hillsborough St., is a couple of blocks west of N.C. State's campus. The dealership's advertising incorporates an image of a wolf's face and red coloring, according to the lawsuit.

"The defendants' unauthorized use of the Wolfpack Auto mark is an attempt to trade on the goodwill of N.C. State and its Wolfpack mark and to falsely imply that the defendants are affiliated or associated with or sponsored or endorsed by N.C. State," the suit states.

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  • grenolafarms Sep 13, 2010

    NC State gets a lot of $$ for the use of "Wolfpack" on items and they do have the trademark registered. DeadHead: A registered trademark is different than registering a corporation.

    They are targeting Wolfpack Auto as they are on their doorstep. If they were in Montana it wouldn't be an issue.

    Do you think it was just a coincidence that they named their company "wolfpack"and using Red & White? They are definitely using the name recognition to do their branding rather than spending the money on advertising to build their business(and reputation).

    NC State probably won't get a dime out of the guy, but they will make him change the name.

  • debnamdavis Sep 13, 2010

    If they sue one they should sue all with the name and logo, because he is not the only one. Its not like that one business is going to crash NCSU by having that name.
    I think he should include on all his paperwork "not affiliated with NCSU" in the fine print, would that solve it...?
    I wonder how much money will NCSU get out of suing this guy?

  • Raleigh Boys Sep 13, 2010

    You know you can buy kiddie diapers with college logos on it, why not this?

  • MyOwnTwoCents Sep 13, 2010

    Anyone with common sense would know they are not affiliated with NC State. What a waste of time with our over crowded court system and taxpayers money. Everyone seems to be "sue happy". It is a disgrace.

  • littlebobeep Sep 13, 2010

    Unless "Wolfpack" is a registered trade mark or name I doubt they have a case. If it is then they probably do.

  • The Deadhead Sep 13, 2010

    According to the Secretary of State's web-site, this business incorporated in September 2009. The name was approved. If this business were located in Chapel Hill, would anyone (NCSU) care?

    Doing a query from the Secretary of State's web-site of all corporations in NC with "Wolfpack" (one word) in their name returns a list of 42 names. Some of them include: Wolfpack Mexican Food, Inc.; Wolfpack Tax Incorporated; Wolfpack Pizza, LLC; Wolfpack Realty, Inc.; and Wolfpack Ranch, LLC; and Wolfpack Lane Associates, LLC to name a few. Some are NCSU related while some are not.

  • seankelly15 Sep 13, 2010

    Justin T. "...in the free expression tunnel..." The point is that the rights to use the logo and name are not FREE. Someone has paid money for the right. Why is this so difficult for you or the others to see?

  • seankelly15 Sep 13, 2010

    debnamdavis - Yes, a "a smal [sic] business trying to make ends meet" by stealing a name and logo that is licensed to someone else - who actually PAID for the right to use it.

  • seankelly15 Sep 13, 2010

    JAT & timnchris08 - What if the sales lot offered free t-shirts that had State's logo and read "Go Wolf Pack". Then Champion (or whoever else has licensed the brand for apparel) cancels their contract with State because State cannot promise exclusive access to the name and the logo? Would it be okay to sue then? Or, can another company interfere with the contract between two parties? I am just asking because you think that it is no big deal so I am assuming you have a legal background that can speak to why this is not a valid issue for State.

  • Justin T. Sep 13, 2010

    I'd better not see any copyright infringement in the free expression tunnel, either. I want NCSU to check for illegal likenesses of wolves, packs of beer or cigarettes, or the recently ousted Ms. Easley. Sue everybody.

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