by Bridget Sjoberg | Staff Writer
District Judge Alan Albright officially ordered the parties involved in the planning and execution of a Lil Jon concert the same day as Baylor’s Diadeloso student holiday to cease using university “marks” and trademarked content in their promotional merchandise.
The ruling comes from a lawsuit in which Baylor sued Umar Brimah, Baylor grad and founder of event-planning company Bleux LLC, for using phrases and designs that have a strong connection and history with the university and that don’t align with the university’s mission.
Brimah sent a mass email to students on Thursday night explaining that those university marks will no longer be used in their designs.
“As many of you may know, we’ve received some complaints about the use of a certain three-letter word that will no longer be featured in our marketing,” the email read. “In regards to the event, the show will continue.”
Brimah and Bleux, connected to the name “Dia Gang” in relation to Diadeloso, used Baylor-related phrases in promotional content, particularly on T-shirts containing phrases like “Livingstone Make Dia Thursday Again” and “I Went to Diadeloso and All I Got was this F**kin T Shirt.” The lawsuit claims that Brimah attempted to capitalize on Baylor’s Diadeloso tradition and that he would originally comply but return to past behaviors when asked to take down material.
“To solidify the association between their concert and Baylor’s Dia Del Oso festival, Defendants adopted the name ‘The Dia Gang’ to promote their concert and associated products and services,” the lawsuit said. “Defendants used ‘Dia’ and ‘Diadeloso’ as marks in connection with the promotion and sale of clothing and accessories, often in combination with presumably unlicensed, third-party marks.”
Brimah also sent mass emails to Baylor students through his old student email account or through addresses following similar formats like firstname.lastname@example.org, which the lawsuit claimed could confuse students as being affiliated with the university. Emails promoted a Bleux-hosted April 9 Lil Jon concert, which is still planning to take place at Brazos Parking, as well as promotional merchandise for the event.
In a statement to the Lariat, Baylor said legal action was caused by Brimah’s failure to comply in not using university “marks” like the Baylor logo or “Dia Del Oso” and in an effort to protect Baylor’s trademarked material.
“Baylor University is required to protect its trademarks and intellectual property in order to maintain trademark registrations. Our first step is always education, which Baylor did in this case. Unfortunately, in this situation, Baylor’s trademarks related to Diadeloso continue to be violated and misused, which has prompted this legal action,” the statement said. “Our primary focus with this litigation – and in all of our prior communications with this business owner – is that he recognize and respect Baylor’s ownership of the Diadeloso trademark and its related variations and cease use immediately.”
The lawsuit originally also called for Brimah to transfer the domain name of thediagang.com. The website no longer exists.
Brimah had considered contacting Baylor to plan a joint on-campus Dia event in the past but felt the university was unsupportive of his planned events and were solely interested in his use of university “marks” in merchandise.
“Baylor is very protective about Dia — they are very against the event and I feel that they’re using the T-shirts in a way to stop my efforts with the event,” Brimah said. “I went into meeting with them thinking it was going to be a conversation about the event but it turned into them just showing pictures of T-shirts and telling me to take them down. It all just felt like a play on their side to try and take down the T-shirts. I complied with them—I shut down the site and put a password on it so no one could get in, I disabled the checkout and unpublished the social images.”
Brimah’s goal in planning his event on the same day as Diadeloso is to offer a safe environment in which students can have fun and see a well-known musical artist in Waco, he said. He said that the event is not affiliated with Baylor.
“I’m hosting an event with Lil Jon that is right across from the stadium and close to campus,” Brimah said. “My biggest thing has been to try and foster a safer environment for students to have fun and party in. I’ve been in the party scene for a while and I’ve seen how disorganized things can get. This is something I’m very passionate about because the music industry is where I’m trying to get to — that’s the path I’ve been going on but it has been significantly more difficult because of Baylor and the image they want to uphold.”