Louisville-based Papa John's might be a home team favorite in Kentucky, but some in the Bluegrass State aren't cheering. Bro 'N Sis Music Inc. has filed a lawsuit in a U.S. District Court claiming that the pizza chain used the University of Kentucky fight song "On! On! U of K" in a television commercial without a proper license.
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the suit was filed March 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Although UK was not named in the suit, the institution claims it has "exclusive proprietary rights" to the song.
Papa John's International Inc. and Papa John's USA Inc. were named as defendants and are accused of unfairly profiting from infringement.
Bro 'N Sis Music claims it has attempted resolution negotiations that were ignored by the company.
Papa John's said it is an official corporate sponsor of UK Athletics and is surprised by the lawsuit because of a marketing agreement that outlines permission to use the fight song. The marketing agreement was made in writing with IMG, a sports marketing company.
Bro 'N Sis Music is asking that Papa John's no longer use the fight song in any advertising and destroy all copies of the commercial in question. The publisher also is asking for damages and infringement profits of no less than $150,000.