Lubbock Christian Univ. asks federal court to dismiss Louisiana Christian Univ. acronym complaint

Lubbock Christian University has asked the Alexandria-based federal court to dismiss a complaint filed by Louisiana Christian University over the use of "LCU."
Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 9:47 AM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Lubbock Christian University, based in Lubbock, Texas, has asked the Alexandria-based federal court to dismiss a July 13, 2023 complaint filed by Louisiana Christian University, which asked the court to make a determination of if the Pineville-based school’s use of the acronym “LCU” constitutes copyright infringement. Lubbock Christian is citing a lack of personal jurisdiction.

Louisiana Christian, which also operates under its legal name of Louisiana College, brought the copyright infringement complaint forward after it claimed in December 2022, Lubbock Christian’s president contacted the Pineville school’s president claiming that the use of the ‘LCU’ acronym “encroaches on our trademark protected property.”

Louisiana Christian’s president, Dr. Rick Brewer, said attempts to come to a resolution on the matter “amicably” did not work, and on July 7, 2023 during a phone call, Lubbock Christian’s president, Dr. Scott McDowell, threatened to sue. So, attorneys for the Pineville school took the matter to federal court in Alexandria.

In a response filed on August 31 by Foley & Lardner LLP, attorneys for Lubbock Christian, they called on Magistrate Judge Joseph Perez-Montes to dismiss the matter, with prejudice, for lack of personal jurisdiction. The personal jurisdiction argument essentially means that Lubbock Christian is a non-resident defendant and that a Louisiana court cannot force litigation for a Texas-based institution.

Corresponding documents call Louisiana Christian’s suit a “race-to-the-courthouse” after “Lubbock Christian put Louisiana College on notice of its violations of its trademark, ‘LCU.’” To date, Lubbock Christian has not filed a claim for trademark infringement.

The Lubbock school makes a series of other claims related to why the Pineville school’s suit is lacking personal jurisdiction, among them, “The sending of cease-and-desist letters and other communications to put a company on notice of intellectual property rights, without more, is legally insufficient to confer personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant.” They also cite case law and state, “The plaintiff bears the burden of establishing the court’s jurisdiction over a nonresident.”

A date to hear the motion to dismiss has not been set yet. Louisiana Christian University is represented by Chadwick Odom & Stokes.

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