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Thursday, June 13, 2024

New U. Square restaurant may violate Bucky copyright

The question of who owns Bucky Badger faces both the owners of the recently opened Bucky's Char Haus, 35 University Square, and UW-Madison officials who say the Badger-themed eatery may be infringing on university copyrights. 




\There are some trademark issues with that because Bucky is a trademark of the university,"" said Cindy Van Matre, UW-Madison administrator of trademark licensing. 




Specifically, Van Matre referred to the establishment's use of the name ""Bucky,"" as well as the school mascot's likeness. The university is concerned, she said, because of the Char Haus' proximity to the campus. 




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""Since it's right on the edge of campus, it kind of infers some university association,"" she said. 




According to Van Matre, UW-Madison has tried to stop outside use of the Bucky image since 1989, when the university took ownership of the character. Businesses such as Badger Bus, which operated prior to 1989, have grandfather privileges to use the name and likeness, Van Matre said. 




Now, she said, the university is negotiating with Rick Petri, the attorney representing Bucky's Char Haus and its CEO, Jim Hinz, a former UW football player. 




Petri said the question now at hand is the extent to which the university will allow the brat and burger restaurant to use the Bucky name. 




""I know my client is more than happy to pay for those copyrights, as long as the price is reasonable,"" Petri said. 




However, according to Van Matre, at this point, the university would prefer that the restaurant change its name. 




According to John Kennedy, a co-owner of the restaurant, the establishment was once told by the university that it would not be infringing copyrights, provided it used officially licensed merchandise when presenting university images. 




""We thought we were OK from the conversation we had with the university,"" Kennedy said. 




Petri said he is currently in the early stages of negotiations with the university, and that he does not expect any trouble with the matter. 




""We're certainly not looking for a fight, and we're not looking at making this into a fight,"" Petri said.

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