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.

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CollegeFest acts revealed

Photo Credit: Liana Bandziulis

Photo Credit: Liana Bandziulis

Originally published in the Los Angeles Loyolan. For original, please refer to: CollegeFest acts revealed – Los Angeles Loyolan.

Hip hop duo Chiddy Bang will headline this year’s CollegeFest, according to a statement released on ASLMU’s Facebook page last night and confirmed by ASLMU Director of Performance Events Ashley Thompson, a senior finance major.

CollegeFest, the annual spring concert event which will be held on Sunday, March 24 at 4 p.m., will also feature two opening acts – the previously announced Joanie Payne, and indie pop band Youngblood Hawke.

ASLMU Office Manager Jason Joyce said in an interview with the Loyolan that the acts were chosen as a way for CollegeFest to appeal to a wider range of listeners. Thompson echoed this sentiment when she told the Loyolan the acts were chosen “to reach a broad segment … [and] the largest portion of LMU.”

According to Thompson, Chiddy Bang was a “student-driven” choice – though another hip hop act resoundingly supported by students, Macklemore, wasn’t available. Thompson said that ASLMU actively attempted to book Macklemore, but was unable to do so due to budget and scheduling restraints.

Chiddy Bang, a duo known for its songs “The Opposite of Adults” and “Mind Your Manners,” is the first full-fledged hip hop act to play CollegeFest in several years. Previous years featured bands like Gym Class Heroes and The Bravery, as well as house music act Steve Aoki.

When asked about potential controversy with a hip hop act, Thompson said that their contract includes a clean show clause. Thompson described Chiddy Bang’s material as “pretty clean.” The duo has also performed at other colleges, including the University of South Florida and Virginia Tech University. YouTube videos of performances at those shows, however, include profane language, indicating that LMU’s clean show clause may not be standard of college shows.

Beyond the music, Thompson said CollegeFest has been envisioned as more of a “festival” this year than in the past, with food trucks, giveaways and a beer garden planned.