University of Alabama Apologizes to Baker for Attempt to Stop Production of Collegiate-Themed Products
Collegiate Licensing Co. recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Northport, Alabama bakery owner to stop producing baked goods with University of Alabama-related images and phrases. After the story hit the Tuscaloosa News, however, the university got in touch with Mary Cesar, the bakery owner, to attempt to resolve the issue in a more friendly way.
Cesar, owner of Mary’s Cakes & Pastries, produces customized cakes and cookies and, during football season in particular, offers university-themed decorated baked goods. But then last week, Cesar received a letter informing her that she was violating the University of Alabama’s trademark and licensing rules whenever she put a university symbol such as the script “A” or the words “Roll Tide” or “Bama” on her cookies or cakes.
In the original article in the Tuscaloosa News, Cesar said she would stop producing any such products because she couldn’t afford to fight a lawsuit and still stay in business. But her local community rallied around her and her right to produce tasty UA-themed treats; a representative of the University of Alabama soon got in touch with her soon thereafter.
“We have assured Ms. Cesar that we will work with her to resolve this issue quickly and amicably so that she can continue to produce pastries that bear the university’s marks,” UA Assistant Vice-President Deborah M. Lane told the Tuscaloosa News.
What do you think? Would the Collegiate Licensing Co.’s defense of its trademarks and licensing rights have been going too far had they pushed this issue? Did the University of Alabama handle this appropriately?