Business owners meet with attorney over “Who Dat” controversy

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who dat 03Small business owners selling “Who Dat” gear are banding together to fight the man who says he owns the phrase, and will shut down any business selling “Who Dat” stuff.

The group met last night Uptown to consult with an attorney.

Steve Zibilich owns Who Dat Snacks. He explains, “I received a letter from the attorneys in Texas, saying they owned the name “Who Dat” and that I should cease and desist or face the possibility of a lawsuit.”

Zibilich is talking about Steve Monistere. He and his brother trademarked “Who Dat” for commercial use in the 80’s. Zibilich says, “We were licensed by the Secretary of State in Louisiana, we have a business license, we’re insured and now, we can’t operate for fear of this guy coming along and taking our profits.”

Attorney Ernie Svenson says he thinks there’s a good chance Steve Monistere would lose his case in court, because “Who Dat” has become such a popular phrase. “If that was a phrase that was commonly used for a long period of time and that can be proven, and it seems like a lot of people are saying that’s true, then it should not be something that should be trade-markable” Svenson says.

While many of these people are still weighing their options, the owner of Fleurty Girl t-shirt company, Lauren Thom, has decided she’s going to fight Steve Monistere for what she thinks is right. “I am absolutely going to keep selling the shirts” Thom says.

So now the waiting game begins, to see if Steve Monistere will actually take each one of these business owners to court.