UA tries to cut counterfeiting

By Jason A. Vrtis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 13, 1996

Karen C. Tully
Arizona Daily Wildcat

A tag on a T-shirt at the UA Associated Students Bookstore indicates that the item is an officially licensed product. The Collegiate Licensing Co. plans to crack down on counterfeit merchandisers when the UA football team plays Illinois tomorrow.


UA representatives will team up with local law enforcement to tackle counterfeit merchandisers during tomorrow's football game against the University of Illinois.

The Collegiate Licensing Co., based in Atlanta, will send two representatives to assist between three and 20 officers from the University of Arizona Police Department and the Tucson Police Department as they patrol the university area and nearby neighborhoods, said Dianne Kopf, the company's director of public relations.

As the exclusive licensing company for both the UA and Illinois, CLC is responsible for protecting and enforcing the universities' trademark rights, according to a CLC news release.

Mike Low, assistant director of the Memorial Student Union and UA licensing administrator, said the CLC and local law enforcement agencies have been patrolling and trying to curtail counterfeiters at every home football contest for several years.

Although exact figures were unavailable, Michael Drucker, CLC associate counsel, said he estimated that universities lose thousands of dollars in revenue each year because of counterfeit merchandise.

The UA and Illinois receive a percentage on each piece of officially licensed merchandise sold, according to the CLC.

Low said the UA-Illinois football game has the potential to be a big game for counterfeiters.

"Early season games usually have less problems, but the possibility exists," Low said.

"People want to capitalize on a good thing, and right now the UA merchandise is a good thing," Kopf said.

All official CLC merchandise has the traditional red and blue CLC label, university trademarks, and the manufacturer's name somewhere on the garment, she said.

The UA's counterfeiting problem has slowed in the past couple of years, Low said.

"The news is out that we patrol every weekend, and the bad guys seem to be going away," he said. "In most cases, the street vendors have appropriate licenses."

Merchandisers who are caught selling counterfeit merchandise could face charges ranging from a class 1 misdemeanor to a felony forgery charge, Low said. The charges depend on the number of unlicensed items confiscated.

"Our job is to make sure the retail community in Tucson is treated fairly," Low said.