Ohio State is again going to court to protect its trademark, but this time a former Buckeye is a target.
Lamp Apparel was named Thursday as the defendant in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Columbus.
The Short North T-shirt shop was founded by former OSU basketball player Brandon Fuss-Cheatham and business partner Scott Kaiser.
Kaiser was not an owner at the time the suit was filed, said an attorney representing him, although the attorney declined to comment further on Kaiser’s relationship with Lamp.
Lamp, located at 815 N. High St., designs and sells its own clothing, much of it related to Ohio sports teams and state pride.
Tucked into the basement of the ivy-covered Greystone building, the shop sits just a few steps off of High Street, easily visible through a broad front window. It has occupied the space since 2014, brought there by Fuss-Cheatham, who played for OSU from 2001 to 2005.
The lawsuit includes a picture of an “OS YOU” T-shirt, manufactured and sold by Lamp, that was posted on Instagram by former Ohio State basketball player Jared Sullinger in 2013.
The lawsuit seeks to stop Lamp from using Ohio State’s trademarks and pay damages.
Neither Fuss-Cheatham nor Kaiser were available for comment.
Ohio State has been aggressive in suing those who engage in unauthorized use of its brands.
In the past, many of Ohio State’s trademark complaints have been lodged against apparel companies that invite users to submit their own designs for printing.
Skreened, Teespring Inc. and CafePress are all examples. Ohio State won its cases against Skreened and Teespring. The suit against CafePress was filed in November and is ongoing.
“Our strategy remains to vigorously protect the brand and trademarks of Ohio State because these assets bring value to the university, which benefits our students and faculty by supporting our core academic mission of teaching and research,” university spokesman Chris Davey said in a statement.