Man sues Armstrong Foundation over pet collars

May 7, 2008 5:03:31 AM PDT
A Tulsa businessman who uses the phrases "Barkstrong" and "Purrstrong" on his animal charity's pet collars has sued the Lance Armstrong Foundation in a trademark dispute.

Chris Ohman filed his suit on April 30 in federal court, and claimed the Armstrong Foundation - which has marketed popular yellow "LiveStrong" wristbands - is infringing on Ohman's intellectual property rights because it also sells pet collars with the "LiveStrong" motto.

Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor, created the foundation and the bracelets to benefit cancer research.

The Armstrong Foundation filed a similar suit against Ohman in federal court in Austin, Texas, last year, seeking unspecified damages. The foundation wanted Ohman to cease selling the animal collars, the sale of which benefits animal welfare groups in the Tulsa area. Ohman, the founder of Animal Charity Collar Group Inc., earlier had filed a counterclaim to that suit.

Ohman was awarded a patent for his pet collar in December, leading him to file his lawsuit.

"Once I was awarded a patent, I felt like I was in a much stronger position," Ohman said. "I gave them a variety of options. They elected to stonewall me, basically."

Armstrong Foundation spokeswoman Katherine McLane said that organization does not comment on pending litigation.


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