Katie Moore / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- A federal judge refused to throw out a lawsuit over the phrase 'Who Dat' Tuesday based on claims by local t-shirt and coffee shops that it cannot be trademarked and is in the public domain.

The lawsuit over who owns 'Who Dat' began after the New Orleans Saints' 2009 Super Bowl run.

Brothers Sal and Steve Monistere sued t-shirt shops Fleurty Girl and Storyville, and Chalmette coffee shop Who Dat Yat Chat saying they violated the Monisteres' trademark of the phrase 'Who Dat.'

The Monisteres recently settled for an undisclosed amount with the NFL in the same lawsuit, and entered into a co-branding partnership with them.

The judge refused to dismiss the Monisteres' lawsuit against the shops, even though they argued 'Who Dat' is in the public domain, a phrase that they say cannot be owned.

The trial over the alleged 'Who Dat' trademark infringement is scheduled April 23. However, attorneys in the case say they do expect it to be delayed.

A settlement conference with the t-shirt and coffee shops is scheduled next week, something all parties say is routine in advance of trial.

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