Gonzaga filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Pendleton Enterprises, owner of the downtown Daiquiri Factory, claiming excessive use of the university’s trademarks and images.
In February, the Daiquiri Factory drew frowns for naming one of its drinks “Date Grape Koolaid.” The implications of sexual assault did not sit well with many in Spokane, including GU students. The suit states that the University considers the publicity associated with the controversy negative and that Pendleton has caused the University “irreparable harm.”
“The current lawsuit is focused on trademarks, but the reason students are paying attention is because of the bar in question,” GSBA President Johnny Draxler said in an email. “I can't speak for the university, but students were understandably upset by Daiquiri Factory's actions. Sexual assault is a huge topic on college campuses everywhere, and making light of it for a drink name downplays a very real problem.”
In the lawsuit, the University claims that “Gonzaga University” is a widely recognized name and that Pendleton Enterprises has been using GU trademarks “to create a likelihood of confusion and actual confusion as to whether there is an affiliation, connection, association or other business/commercial relationship with Gonzaga University.”
“Gonzaga University greatly values the good reputation our community has helped the University build and is therefore protective of its name, trademarks and likenesses,” the University said in a statement. “When these are threatened, the University attempts to work out a resolution and, when necessary, takes legal action to protect them.”
The Daiquiri Factory has been using images and trademarks associated with GU for promoting its products, the filing contends. The lawsuit specifically references, “Gonzaga University,” “Zags,” “Bulldogs,” “GU,” “Spike” and “Gonzaga Clothing” as trademarks. Several images released with the lawsuit feature a Bulldog mascot wearing GU apparel in front of the Daiquiri Factory’s building downtown promoting Daiquiri Factory products, including a drink dubbed “Bulldog Lemonade.”
The lawsuit states that in addition to causing confusion about the relationship of GU to the Daiquiri Factory, “damage to [GU’s] goodwill [and] the loss of control of its goodwill and others,” occurred as a result of the Date Grape controversy coupled with use of the University’s trademarks and images.
The University alleges trademark infringement and violation of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act. The document orders Pendleton Enterprises cease and desist using any GU trademarks or identifiers.
The Daiquiri Factory did not respond to request for comment.