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Manziel suing man for selling 'Johnny Football' shirts

The SportsXchange

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel filed a lawsuit in Texas last week against a man for selling T-shirts that the Heisman Trophy winner claims infringe on his trademark rights, the Southeast Texas Record reported.

Manziel's corporation, JMAN2 Enterprises, filed the suit against Eric Vaughan, who was selling T-shirts that read, "Keep Calm and Johnny Football," according to the legal journal.

Manziel is seeking damages for the unlawful sale of the "Johnny Football" T-shirts. The NCAA recently ruled that that a student-athlete can keep financial earnings from a legal action.

Manziel does not automatically own the trademark, but it likely will not be difficult to show that Vaughan's T-shirts refer to Manziel.

The quarterback's corporation cannot make money until Manziel's NCAA eligibility expires or he enters the NFL draft, but can take legal action to claim of ownership of the "Johnny Football" name.

"Manziel's attorneys and Texas A&M regularly communicate on legal issues where we have joint interests," said Shane Hinckley, assistant vice president of business at Texas A&M. "This usually means that our trademarks are being used in conjunction with Johnny Football. We are pursuing our own legal interests separately, but stay in contact due to the nature of the relationship."

Hinckley added the school is not providing legal or financial support beyond issues that involve Texas A&M trademarks.

Texas A&M cannot use Manziel's name on any products it sells, according to NCAA rules.

Manziel's trademark application for "Johnny Football" reportedly indicates that he plans to use the phrase on everything from athletic apparel to motivational and educational speeches.
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