Judge denies motion for protective order in 'Who Dat' lawsuit

Alejandro de los Rios Feb. 8, 2011, 10:55am


Magistrate Judge Karen Wells Roby has denied a motion for a protective order filed by the New Orleans Saints in connection with litigation involving the ownership of the phrase "Who Dat," according to documents filed in federal court in New Orleans.

NFL Properties LLC and the Saints filed the motion on Feb. 1. It asked to allow parties involved to label "protected information" for any files deemed confidential by a disclosing party.

The motion also asked that all inspections of "protected information" will be "limited to counsel for the parties" and their employees. The motion also applies to deposition testimony and exhibits.

Who Dat? Inc. (WDI), run by the brothers Sal and Steve Monistere, is suing the National Football League (NFL), NFL Properties (NFLP), the New Orleans Saints, Liquid Ventures Inc., Logo Express Marketing Inc., Monogram Express, Storyville Apparel, and Fleurty Girl for alleged misappropriation of the phrase Who Dat on their merchandise.

Fleutry Girl, Storyville and the Cafe have since filed countersuits against WDI. Storyville's countersuit claims that the term 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."

A search in United States Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Electronic Search System reveals that 32 trademarks have been filed that use the phrase Who Dat in some capacity, 19 of which are still live. Who Dat Inc.? has nine registered Who Dat trademarks but only three, all filed in 2010, are still live.

Metairie attorneys Joseph Piacun, Thomas Gennusa II and Reid Uzee; and Texas attorney Ricardo Cedillo are representing Who Dat? Inc.

Atlanta attorneys Christopher Bussert, Jerre Swann, James Sullivan Jr. and New Orleans attorneys Lesli Harris, Michael Walshe Jr., Phillip Wittmann and Agnieszka McPeak are representing the NFL, NFLP and the Saints.

New Orleans attorney Darleen Jacobs is representing the Cafe.

New Orleans attorney Mark Edwards is representing Storyville.

New Orleans attorney Ernest Svenson serves as counsel for Fleurty Girl.

New Orleans attorneys Lloyd Shileds and Andrew Vicknair are representing Logo Express.

Federal Case 2:10-cv-1333

More News