It requires a certain chutzpah to sell weed-themed bootleg Portland Trail Blazers T-shirts six blocks from Moda Center. But the Western Conference finals were heady times. And there it was, in the window of Northeast Portland cannabis dispensary Oregon's Finest: the red-and-white Blazers pinwheel logo, with a tongue of fire and the command "Blaze Up."
Oregon's Finest, which sits across Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from the Oregon Convention Center, declined to discuss the shirt. But Susan Ford, an intellectual property lawyer with the firm Jordan Ramis, says using the Blazers' logo does appear to be either a case of trademark infringement or, "because the Blazers are famous, trademark dilution." Ford says under the U.S. Trademark Act, also known as the Lanham Act, the aggrieved party in a situation like this can collect monetary damages and, if necessary, seek injunctive relief, including "a seizure order from federal marshals so they can destroy the goods."
The Blazers did not seem amused. "This specific merchandise is unauthorized, and the appropriate legal notification will be served," said Michael Lewellen, vice president of corporate communications. "We have both internal legal staff and outside legal counsel who watch for clear licensing and trademark violations like this one. When discovered, we take appropriate action quickly."