Discovery’s 'Ragin’ Cajuns' has nothing to do with UL Lafayette, and that’s why the university has turned its attention to the new series, which debuts Tuesday.
[Editor's Note: This story has been altered to reflect that UL has continuously used the Ragin' Cajuns moniker since first adopting it in the 1960s. It has been brought to our attention that the name may have been used before then by a U.S. Marine Corps fighter squadron as early as 1950. We are trying to confirm the accuracy of that information.]
Discovery’s new reality series, Ragin’ Cajuns debuts Tuesday at 9 p.m. and follows the livelihood of shrimpers — in much the same vein as Deadliest Catch and Swamp People. The first episode, subtitled “White Gold,” is set in Venice.
But there may be a potential problem for the network: Ragin’ Cajuns is a federally registered trademark and service mark, just like Xerox or Q-tips. Because the nickname is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, UL has certain ownership and protection rights to the moniker.
“Our office is looking into it right now,” says Aaron Martin, UL’s director of communications and marketing, who was unaware of the potential infringement until contacted by The Independent in late December. “I do have a call into them. I’ve talked to their people, and they told me they are going to call me back.”
“I’m not thrilled about it,” Martin says, stressing there is likely not much that can be done to stop tonight’s premiere, even if there is an infringement. “If there is something we can do, it would probably be a cease and desist at some point if you can prove that it’s a violation.”
Martin, who Monday said he still poring over a thick document to better understand UL's rights, emphasized that trademarks are issued in categories or classes. “There are a bunch of things out there that use the term Ragin’ Cajuns; there have been songs, a movie, restaurants,” Martin continues. “I know if they start putting stuff on apparel, that gets a little bit, from what I understand, a little bit more definitive.”
The use of UL’s marks are controlled by its licensing program, which was initiated in 1988. The program is administered by Martin’s department, along with UL’s licensing agent, Collegiate Licensing Company. The program requires manufacturers to enter into an agreement with the university if they want to produce products bearing UL Lafayette’s name or trademarks.
UL Lafayette was the first to adopt and continuously employ the nickname Ragin’ Cajuns, using it initially in the 1960s to refer to its football team, according to both UL’s website and Wikipedia: “In 1963 football coach Russ Faulkinberry changed the nickname of the football team ‘Bulldogs’ to 'Ragin’ Cajuns.’ By the 1970s, the athletic department, the sports information director Bob Henderson and the student body picked up on the nickname,” Wiki notes. “As published in the 1974 football guide, the nickname became official that year.”
While UL assesses its rights, the rest of us might want to check out the new reality series, in which local shrimpers will discuss the challenges they face in the aftermath of the BP disaster. The show's executive producer told The Times-Picayune Ragin' Cajuns will be quite different from other popular TV series about hard-working men and women who make their living on the water:
We all know what’s on the other networks,” said French Horwitz, Discovery’s executive producer for the show, which comes from Los Angeles-based Gurney Productions. “This show is different and unique. It isn’t ‘Deadliest Catch’ in that these guys aren’t on the high seas in dangerous surroundings. And it’s not ‘Swamp People’ in that they’re not catching gators.
“It’s these special characters that make this show different from anything else that’s on our air. They are great guys, they’re guys that are doing what they’ve been doing for hundreds of years, and they’re trying to keep up with the tradition.
“This is a special show, unlike anything else that’s on the air right now.”
Fans of “Swamp People” will especially find it special, I suspect, in that the characters are both larger-than-life and true-to-life for the region. ... Much of what’s said in the premiere episode needs subtitles. And a few bleeps.
Read more from the T-P here.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.