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A state judge this week ordered a store run by the chain that owns the Harvard Shop to stop selling merchandise bearing the Boston College Eagle.
The Eagle Shop, named after Boston College's symbol, was one of two shops to which Middlesex Superior Court Judge Robert A. Mulligan issued a preliminary injunction, citing possible trademark infringements.
But Paul R. Corcoran, owner of the Harvard Shop, Inc. the company that operates the store, said that he plans to appeal the court's decision.
Peter Sonnabend, the attorney representing the Harvard Shop Inc., said that Eagle Shop contacted Boston College officials before it opened to determine school policy on using the symbol and at the time, he was told the school had no set policy.
However, Michael Franco, director of communications at the school said that with an increase in school popularity, after the success of the Boston College football team and quarterback Doug Flutie, the school decided to crack down on stores making money from the Eagle.
Boston College wrote to all the stores which marketed goods with their school emblem and asked them to stop selling those products, according to Franco.
The school sought injunctions against the two stores who did not comply with this request, the Eagle Shop and the Heartbreak Hill Sports Shop, Franco said. Because these shops were located directly across the street from the school's campus, many visitors thought the shops were authorized by Boston College, he said.
Corcoran said that his company which runs stores near Harvard and Boston College has signs posted at each store saying it is unaffiliated with the colleges. Harvard has never attempted to prevent the store from selling school paraphenalia, he said.
The Boston College Bookstore sold many of the same items that the two shops were offering, but Franco said that the stores not owned by the school sold merchandise of inferior quality.
"There was just an overall feeling that sales of those goods of inferior quality would do harm to our image and take funds from the university," said Franco.
While Franco could not specify how much money Boston College was losing from the unlicensed sales, he said that the number was "several hundred thousands of dollars." That money and the proceeds from the Bookstore go into the school's fund for general operations.
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