Effort to Save Red Raider Outfitter Prompts Thousands to Sign Petitions
Public Outcry Over Texas Tech University Licensing Department''s Strong-Arm Tactics Reaches Fever Pitch
LUBBOCK, Texas, November 14, 2006 -- One day after Texas Tech University reported amassing $400,000 in legal fees to pursue a trademark infringement lawsuit against a small, family-owned business, people throughout Texas and across the country are expressing outrage about the University''s tactics.
Student petitioners have been collecting signatures on the Texas Tech campus and across Lubbock urging University leaders to drop their efforts to shut Red Raider Outfitter down. Thanks to the students'' sophistication with new media, the grassroots initiative to save the company is attracting worldwide attention. They are using GoPetition.com to spread the word, posting the petition online at www.gopetition.com.au/online/10116.html.
To date, nearly 2,000 signatures have been collected. The petition reads:
"We, the friends of Texas Tech University, don''t want to see Red Raider Outfitter have to shut their doors. In the spirit of good sportsmanship -- and the love of all red raiders everywhere -- we respectfully ask that the Texas Tech Licensing Department JUST DROP IT."
"We are pleased with the outpouring of support we have received locally, across the state, across the country and around the world," said Stephen Spiegelberg, president of Red Raider Outfitter. "We are hoping that University leaders will respond by tempering their position, allowing us to stay in business and allowing businesses throughout Lubbock to continue showing their school spirit."
On Monday, lawyers for Texas Tech''s licensing department reported to U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings that they racked up more than $400,000 in fees in the trademark infringement case against Red Raider Outfitter. The dispute centers on unlicensed goods sold by the store that featured the terms "Wreck ''Em Tech" and "Raiderland," as well as the cartoon cowboy that adorns the store''s logo and sign. Each side contends it has the right to use those marks.
The amount of legal fees spent by the University''s licensing department sharply contrasts with what was at stake in the dispute. Ninety-seven percent of the store''s sales were licensed; just three percent of its products were in dispute. In fact, A CPA''s analysis found that profits from the disputed goods totaled $44,000 and licensing royalties would have totaled less than $6,500.
In total, Red Raider Outfitter has been ordered to pay the University approximately $3.5 million, which would force the company that opened in 1975 to shut its doors.
"Ironically, the sole intent of this business has always been to help the community celebrate Texas Tech," said Spiegelberg. "We are just hoping the petition drive helps spread the word and encourages others to stand up to these strong-arm tactics before they become a target."
About Red Raider Outfitter
Since 1975, Red Raider Outfitter has made and sold quality collegiate sportswear and apparel with the most innovative designs and highest standards of craftsmanship. Red Raider Outfitter is alumni owned and operated, employs dozens of Texas Tech students with a student payroll estimated at $350,000 annually. The company has been a proud part of the Texas Tech spirit and tradition for more than 30 years. More information is available at www.redraideroutfitter.com.