ASU in X-rated legal fight with porn website

Print
Email
|

by Jason Volentine

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonvolentine

azfamily.com

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 22 at 6:51 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Sparky the Sun Devil is in a flap with some so-called “angels.”  Arizona State University is picking an X-rated fight with a porn website named SunDevilAngels.com.
 
The university believes sundevilangels.com is tarnishing Sparky's image and illegally using the name.  ASU recently took legal action against the adult website, arguing that it has to stop using the term “Sun Devil.”
 
But a representative from Sun Devil Angels told 3TV that the website isn’t doing anything different from lots of other legitimate businesses that use “Sun Devil” in a title or name.
 
“I'm anti-porn so I don't like that,” said ASU student J.R. Payne.
 
The university agrees and is trying to force Sun Devil Angels to change its name by saying it amounts to trademark infringement. 
 
"If an inappropriate use is brought to our attention, the university will take steps as to how best to proceed with regard to the usage as it is important to us that we maintain the integrity and value of ASU trademarks,” said ASU spokesperson Julie Newberg in a statement emailed to 3TV on Tuesday.
 
“It has such a negative connotation. It's a porn site,” ASU student Liz Rodie said.
 
A representative from Sun Devil Angels, Brent Townsend, told 3TV the business has been using the term "Sun Devil" since 2004 and hasn't had a problem with ASU until this past November.  The porn site is based in New Jersey and Townsend said it uses no colors, logos, students or other ASU affiliations, just like many other businesses.

Sun Devil Heating & Cooling is a Valley business that uses the “Sun Devil” name.  The business’ general manager, Jason Clayton, said it’s been using “Sun Devil” since 2007 and has never had a problem with ASU.  However, he thinks businesses like his are different from Sun Devil Angels.

“We lean heavily on our traditions and values and I think something like that can be offensive to the right person,” said Clayton.  “As Arizonans we take a lot of pride in our state and I don't think porn is something to be proud of.”

Townsend said it would cost Sun Devil Angels $50,000 dollars to change its domain name and everything associated with that name.  He said the company has no intention of making any name changes and plans to fight ASU.

Print
Email
|