Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

November 13, 2008

'Mr. Crappie' sues man he says took his moniker

TAHLEQUAH DAILY PRESS — This fishing story is headed to court.

Lawrence A. Fulton filed suit Wednesday afternoon against Wally Marshall for the use of the “Mr. Crappie” name. Marshall’s principal place of business is in Garland, Texas, but he transacts business in Oklahoma.

Fulton sells angling equipment, supplies and goods in and around Fort Gibson. He states in the suit he’s been “Mr. Crappie” for more than 12 years, and his business is named “Mr. Crappie Bait and Tackle.” Fulton developed logos incorporating himself and his business a month before opening.

The suit states Fulton has never abandoned use of the name. He sells hats, T-shirts and pencils and buys advertising under the “Mr. Crappie” moniker.

Fulton alleges he gave Marshall a business card emblazoned with “Mr. Crappie” and the “Mr. Crappie Bait and Tackle” name at an event at the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, Mo., in October 1996.

The suit indicates Marshall filed an application for trademark registration for “Mr. Crappie” in February 1998 and has been using the name on equipment, goods and supplies. Futon alleges this was done without consent and that Marshall has profited from use of the “Mr. Crappie” trademark.

Fulton is seeking judgment for trademark infringement, deceptive trade practices, common law trademark and trademark infringement, and unfair competition. He also asks the court to order the destruction of any goods Marshall has with the “Mr. Crappie” name, and for Marshall to contact all publications distributed or sold in Oklahoma containing Marshall’s “Mr. Crappie” advertisements to cancel any references to him as “Mr. Crappie.”

Fulton, who represents himself, wants Marshall to pay him all profits he has realized from sale of products using the “Mr. Crappie” trademark, damages in excess of $10,000, interest, court costs and other relief.

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Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

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Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
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The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
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