$5 Billion in Punitive Damages sought for CDLs

I first heard about the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports Logos (CAPS) in the mid-1990s while attending a convention of the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC). Each year CAPS sends out hundreds of cease-and-desist letters, usually to vendors and silk screen businesses that are infringing on one or more federally registered major league or collegiate trademarks.

CAPS purchased a zippered Chicago White Sox jersey from the ZIP-A-Tee Shirt website as part of their investigation, and then sent several cease and desist letter to James Cross, the owner of Zip-A-Tee-Shirt, in 2012 and 2013 and eventually contacted website-hosting companies to complain about Cross and his company, which resulted in the suspension of domains he was using.

Acting as his own attorney, Cross filed a law suit and asked for a declaratory judgment of non-infringement and injunctive relief, as well as $700 million in statutory damages, $5 billion in punitive damages, and an additional $500,000 for each domain change. CAPS moved to dismiss, asserting that Cross failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Court agreed and the case was dismissed in May, 2015.



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