NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Settlements have resolved a Louisiana recording company's claims against two T-shirt vendors and a restaurant over merchandising rights to the phrase "Who Dat?" a popular chant of New Orleans Saints fans.
The deals eliminate the need for a federal trial scheduled to begin Monday.
Who Dat? Inc., which recorded a song in 1983 that used the cheer, accused Storyville Apparel, Monogram Express and Who Dat Yat Chat of violating its trademark of the phrase.
The T-shirt vendors and Who Dat Yat Chat argued that "Who Dat?" is a generic phrase that can't be trademarked.
Darleen Jacobs, a New Orleans attorney, said the settlement allows her to use Who Dat Yat Chat as the name of a restaurant she plans to open in Violet later this year. Who Dat? Inc. also will pay Jacobs more than $3,174 to cover her court costs, the agreement said.
"I've been using 'Who Dat?' since I was a toddler," Jacobs said. "No one owns 'Who Dat?' It's in the public domain."
Who Dat? Inc. co-owner Steve Monistere said his company sued to protect its right to use the phrase for "very specific and narrow categories" of goods, including T-shirts, foods and beverages.
"Our company is entitled to use 'Who Dat?' as a brand name for our goods and services, and that's always been the case," he said.
Mark Andrews, a lawyer for the T-shirt vendors, said terms of their settlement with Who Dat? Inc. are confidential. However, Andrews said his clients intend to continue selling T-shirts with the phrase "Who Dat?" on them.
"The T-shirt vendors never asked to be in this lawsuit and are glad it's over with so they can get on with their business," Andrews said.