Judge allows counterclaims to proceed in 'Who Dat' lawsuit

Alejandro de los Rios Jan. 13, 2011, 12:14pm


U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier has denied a motion to dismiss counterclaims filed by three Louisiana businesses in a lawsuit relating to the owner of the phrase "Who Dat."

Fleurty Girl LLC, Storyville Apparel LLC and Who Dat Yat Chat Cafe filed counterclaims against Who Dat Inc. (WDI), which had claimed ownership of the phrase "Who Dat" in connection with the NFL's New Orleans Saints.

During the Saints' 2010 Super Bowl run, WDI served the NFL, several apparel makers and Who Dat Yat Chat with cease and desist letters, claiming misappropriation of the "Who Dat" trademark.

The claims are proceeding in federal court in New Orleans.

WDI also sued the NFL, claiming that WDI "developed and nurtured 'Who Dat' for over twenty-five years and was uniquely positioned to reap substantial financial rewards in connection with the 2009-2010 National Football League season."

New Orleans attorney Mark Edwards is representing Storyville.

On Oct. 27, he filed a defense and counterclaim against WDI.

The counterclaim states that the phrase "Who Dat" has "been applied to many sporting contests...for many decades before 1983" and that WDI "has abandoned any trademark rights it may have ever had in WHO DAT? By non-use and non-exclusive use for a significant period of time."

The Storyville counterclaim also alleges that WDI violated the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act (LUTPA).

New Orleans attorney Ernest Svenson is representing Fleurty Girl.

New Orleans attorney Darleen Jacobs is representing Who Dat Yat Chat.

Fleurty Girl is also claiming damages under LUTPA, alleging that WDI removed Fleurty Girl's Facebook page, despite the page not mentioning the phrase "Who Dat."

Metairie attorneys Joseph Piacun, Thomas Gennusa II and Reid Uzee; and Texas attorney Ricardo Cedillo are representing WDI.

Barbier's order allows for the counterclaims filed by Storyville, Fleurty Girl and Who Dat Yat Chat to continue in court.

Barbier, though, dismissed claims for treble damages brought on by Who Dat Yat Chat, because they did not "allege any facts demonstrating that WDI was put on notice by the attorney general" for violating LUTPA.

Federal Case 2:10-cv-0133-CJB-KWR

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