When a trademark group representing professional sports leagues demanded Stephen Sirabella stop selling reproductions of championship rings, he didn't just pull down his Web site and stop offering the rings on eBay. He sued.
In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Sirabella argues that the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports Logos fouled out with an October letter demanding he stop selling the rings - and turn over any profits from their sale. In his complaint, he argues that none of the teams offer similar products and that:
Plaintiff's website and listings on eBay.com clearly and unequivocally state that the rings being sold by Plaintiff, which are made of inexpensive materials, are not the actual rings given to members of the winning teams, which feature rare and expensive gems, such as diamonds.
As the logos owned by the CAPS Members are not used exclusively to identify the source of a good or service, but rather serve also to identify the team in a generic way, Plaintiff's offering of sports championship rings for sale to the public does not dilute the selling power of the CAPS Members Marks.