Saturday, February 02, 2008

Red & Black files lawsuit CASE GOES TO JUDGE: Football team sues Shultz over rig

Watertown Daily Times
Red & Black files lawsuit
CASE GOES TO JUDGE: Football team sues Shultz over right to use name, logo

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The "original" Watertown Red & Black has gone on offense in an attempt to protect the name the semipro football team has used since its inception in 1896.

Greater Watertown Red & Black Inc. kicked off a state Supreme Court lawsuit Thursday at the Jefferson County clerk's office against Sports Partners Inc., which is claiming it owns the team and the rights to use its name.

The suit also names Thomas J. Shultz, general manager of Sports Partners and owner of Re-Sale America, 302 Court St., who claims he purchased the team and has a contract to prove it. Red & Black Inc. denies in court documents that any contract exists, stating Sports Partners never purchased the assets of the team nor the right to use its name or logo.

Red & Black Inc. claims Sports Partners has no football program nor facilities upon which to play football, yet is representing itself to the public as having plans to make a variety of personnel, equipment and venue changes for the team. It also is soliciting funds from the public and has attempted to sell season tickets as the Red & Black, it is alleged.

Red & Black Inc. claims the representations are misleading and creating confusion for potential donors and fans who believe the two entities are the same team.

The original team is asking a judge to order Sports Partners to stop using the Red & Black name or its logo to solicit money; to not sell products, equipment or tickets under the team name; and to not advertise or otherwise represent any affiliation with the Red & Black.

The suit was brought on Red & Black Inc.'s behalf by its president, Robert C. Freeman III. The team is represented by Watertown attorney James A. Burrows.

Shultz has received approval from the Northeastern Football Alliance to compete in its 15-team league using the name Watertown Red & Black. The original Red & Black plays in the Empire Football League.

Copyright 2008. Watertown Daily Times, Inc., Watertown, NY. All rights reserved.

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