Settlement reached in 'Who Dat' lawsuit, but fight may continue for some

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 30, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 30 at 11:43 PM

Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News

NEW ORLEANS -- Late Monday afternoon, Who Dat?, Inc. announced it has reached a settlement with the NFL over use of the popular “Who Dat” phrase -- seemingly bringing an end to the dispute.

But Lauren Thom, who owns the Fleurty Girl apparel line, said her fight is far from over.

"I was really surprised that people were cheering and sharing the story through Facebook and being excited about it,” Thom said.“I don't think they know what it really means."

Thom and other local merchants were first ordered to stop selling “Who Dat” gear in 2010.

Thom said the NFL later vowed to side with her and take control of the dispute against Who Dat?, Inc., but she said, now, the situation has taken a turn.

"Instead of having the NFL with us to fight for the phrase, for it to be in the public domain, they're now out of it," Thom said. "I don't know what the terms were. It just kind of puts us in a position of scrambling because we still have to go to court in April and this really does change things. So, we're the ones that become the placeholder in the fight for the 'Who Dat' phrase in the public domain."

Who Dat?, Inc. said it reached an agreement with the NFL to voluntarily dismiss all claims against one another.

In a press release, the company wrote: “(The NFL / Saints and Who Dat?, Inc.) have also agreed to make available to fans, co-branded merchandise bearing the marks and logos of the New Orleans Saints and the phrase, WHO DAT.”

Thom doesn't know where that leaves her or anyone else wanting to use the phrase, but she plans to keep the fight going.

"We've been through so much with all this that I want to see it through for the people, for all of us. I don't care if I ever sell another t-shirt. At this point, it's like, it belongs to the fans. It was the fans before 1983 and it should be ours still," Thom said.

Thom said she plans to meet with her attorney to discuss how best to move forward, but as of now, she still expects to face Who Dat, Inc. in court.

Steve Monistere of Who Dat?, Inc. did not immediately respond to our request for comment on whether the company plans to continue with any legal action over the issue.

 

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