Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
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Saturday, May 18 2013 11:19 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:19:44 GMT
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Sunday, May 19 2013 7:59 AM EDT2013-05-19 11:59:01 GMT
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A new lawsuit could cause trouble for promoters looking to cash-in on Charlotte's annual CIAA tournament.
CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) filed the lawsuit in federal court Friday.
The suit claims several promoters were not authorized to use the tournament's name and logo to promote their parties.
It has some serious allegations, everything from trademark infringement to trafficking counterfeit goods.
It alleges the defendants don't have permission to use the CIAA name and logo and claims their parties "unfairly compete with official CIAA sponsored events" and "falsely creates the impression these events...are authorized, sponsored or approved by the plaintiff, when they are not."
Bottom line: Promoters are cashing-in at CIAA's expense.
Charlottean Tiffany Jones and her company, Digital Divas will throw more than a half dozen parties during this year's CIAA tournament.
She knows the pitfalls of promoting and says the tournament is just trying to protect its interests.
"I get it," she said. "You know I understand. You cannot take someone else's name and use it promote your event. That's a no-no."
Jones says it never even occurred to use the tournament logo.
"It was just something I knew," she said. "I don't know if the promoters don't do their research. But I've always called my weekend, 'Welcome to Charlotte weekend' because everybody knows the dates. There's no need to use the CIAA name."
Other promoters clearly didn't get that memo. Among the defendants: 5th Element nightclub in Uptown and the Neighborhood Theatre in NoDa.
Jones also points out it's liability issue.
"You throw an event let's say at Founders Hall or somewhere and you put the CIAA logo on and someone gets hurt at the event, then they would be looking to the CIAA to find out you know--how were you affiliated with this event," she pointed out.
The suit also names defendants who sell counterfeit merchandise with the CIAA logo.
WBTV tried to reach Carlos Watson, the CIAA's attorney Friday but he has not returned our calls.
According to the lawsuit, the C-I-double-A is looking to get a portion of the profits promoters stand to make off this year's parties.