Cease-and-desist letter protests use of ‘CollegeFest’ trademark

Originally published in the Los Angeles Loyolan. For original, please refer to: Cease-and-desist letter protests use of ‘Collegefest’ trademark – Los Angeles Loyolan.

A cease-and-desist letter was sent to LMU’s Office of the President from CollegeFest Promotions LLC on Thursday demanding the University stop using the name “CollegeFest.” Despite the letter, which was also sent to the Loyolan and senior sociology major and ASLMU President Vinnie Caserio, a video post on ASLMU’s Facebook page this weekend referred to the March 24 on-campus event as “CollegeFest.”

The letter, signed by Adam Paget, legal counsel for CollegeFest Promotions, claims the company owns the trademark “COLLEGEFEST” and that the name “has become famous, and consumers recognize this mark as a distinctive indicator of our client’s high-quality services.” Because of this, the letter alleges, LMU’s use of the name CollegeFest is an infringement and violates several laws, including the federal Lanham Act.

CollegeFest Promotions’ letter states that the company, a subsidiary of the larger Mr. Youth LLC, has used the CollegeFest trademark, for years to promote events, including an over-25-year-old Boston-based event called simply CollegeFest. Coincidentally, the 2010 CollegeFest in Boston featured a performance from this year’s LMU CollegeFest headlining act, Chiddy Bang.

Paget demands in the letter the cessation of “any and all use of the COLLEGEFEST name and mark … in any and all materials [and] in all formats,” asking for confirmation of this by next Tuesday, March 19. If LMU does not stop using the name CollegeFest, the letter concludes, “we will have no alternative but to take all steps necessary to preserve and protect our rights without further notice to [the University].”

At approximately 10:55 p.m. Friday evening, ASLMU published a YouTube video titled “LMU CollegeFest 2013” to its Facebook page (see image). The video, posted by an account called “TheASLMU,” was accompanied by a statement annoucing “ASLMU Presents: CollegeFest 2013.” ASLMU’s website, Facebook page and Instagram account all continue to feature the poster for the event, which refers to it as CollegeFest.

A call for comment to the LMU CollegeFest coordinator, senior finance major and ASLMU Director of Performance Events Ashley Thompson, was not returned. Requests for comment to Paget, Caserio and ASLMU Adviser and Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Development Alexandra Froehlich were also not returned.