‘Who Dat’ debate is back; Businesses get new warning
Two musicians say they’re ready to go to court to defend their trademark.
The popular t-shirt boutique along Magazine, Storyville, is bustling with business. Alli Granier, the store manager says, “we opened at 10 this morning and we already had a multitude of customers in the store.” Granier says these days, a lot of customers are eyeing one thing, black and gold “Who Dat” gear. Shopper Michael Bruce says, “I like wearing it you know as much as possible.”
They are popular shirts stirring up a whole lot of controversy. Sal and Steve Monistere of Who Dat Inc. claim they coined the slogan. They want this business, Fleurty Girl down the street, and others that sell the “Who Dat” merchandise to work out a deal. They’re giving the shops till the end of the month. The brothers recently sent a cease and desist letter to local businesses. It basically says if the stores don’t take action, the brothers will in court.
Storyville posted the latest letter on its wall. Shopper Julie Williams says, “I think that’s pretty ridiculous I think that’s a New Orleans saying and I think that should stick with New Orleans.” Another shopper says, “I think they are kinda trying to hop on the bandwagon and that’s not right.” Tourist Mary Cerceo adds, “I would hope no one has the rights to it who dat is a spirit lifter for everybody, but if someone has trademarks.”
The owner of Storyville says Who Dat Inc. is asking for a nearly 10% royalty cut. This shop doesn’t plan on taking its goods off the shelves anytime soon. Granier says, “we are not going to listen to them we are going to continue to print “Who Dat” shirts much as we want and hopefully people continue to buy them.”
Fleurty Girl even made black and gold ribbons hoping shoppers show their support for the businesses during Monday night’s game.
Sal and Steve Monistere sent us this statement: “As the trademark owners, we are required by federal law to enforce our mark and defend our rights. Without the opportunity to come to a business solution, we have no choice but to pursue legal remedies. The law demands that we do so.”