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Georgia wants court to dismiss 'Regents' name suit

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 1:10 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012 1:40 AM
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Georgia’s attorney general is asking a federal court to dismiss the trademark infringement lawsuit filed over the use of “Georgia Regents Univer­sity” for Augusta’s consolidated university.



The state also wants to freeze the proceedings until the judge rules on its motion to dismiss. Attorney General Samuel S. Olens filed both motions last week in U.S. District Court in Augusta.

Regent University of Vir­gin­ia Beach, Va., filed suit in September against the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents to stop its planned name for the consolidated Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities.

The Board of Regents voted on the name Aug. 7. The Vir­ginia university contends that the board was aware of its position before the vote because Regent University had sent a cease-and-desist letter Aug. 3.

Regent University has trademarked the “Regent” name since at least 1990, the lawsuit contends.

Olens counters that the board is protected by sovereign immunity. The lawsuit should be dismissed, Georgia contends, because no individual can sue a state government unless the state consents, waives immunity or Congress denies immunity protection because the state has repeatedly violated constitutional rights.

As individuals, Board of Regents members can lose their immunity protection only if they take an official act that violates clearly established rights bestowed by legislative act or the Constitution, the state contends. That has not occurred, according to the state filings.

Considering how common the name “Regents” is – eight other states have Boards of Regents for their university systems, and at least two universities have used the name “Regent” at some point – the Georgia board had no reason to believe the name would be legally reserved by trademark, Georgia contends. Also, all the school names that include “State University” or “Tech” show that adding a state’s name to the title distinguishes one school from the others, the filings state.

Regent University says the Georgia board lost its immunity defense because the board has sued others for violating its trademarks. Georgia contends that is not true under case law.

No hearing has been scheduled in the case, which is assigned to U.S. District Court Judge J. Randal Hall.

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Little Lamb
46995
Points
Little Lamb 10/23/12 - 01:34 pm
8
0
Lawsuit

I hope Judge Hall dismisses Olens’ requests. I don't think this is what was intended by the doctrine of sovereign immunity.

One thing for sure, the members of the Board of Regents have no immunity to stupidity, or vanity for that matter.

cheeringonthedawgs
108
Points
cheeringonthedawgs 10/23/12 - 01:49 pm
8
0
Blatent Disregard

They knew of the impending lawsuit at least a week ahead and arrogantly went ahead and voted for GRU. Now they claim sovereign immunity. I agree with little lamb to their claim to stupidity. Why not correct the error and concede defeat.

moderate321
324
Points
moderate321 10/23/12 - 01:55 pm
8
0
Judge J. Randall Hall

Judge Hall is a graduate of Augusta College. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

kiwiinamerica
950
Points
kiwiinamerica 10/23/12 - 02:01 pm
0
1
Dead on arrival
Unpublished

Regent (no "s", no "Georgia") University's lawsuit is dead in the water. Its case will be tossed.

Count on it.

Time to print more yard signs, folks.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 10/23/12 - 02:17 pm
8
1
Sure they want it dismissed ..

Guess what happens if they can get the GA Regents and President Azzie under oath, and ask some pointed questions?

Their career dissipation lights will be flashing on high, to be followed by some point GBI questions likely.

So sure they want it dismissed.

americafirst
966
Points
americafirst 10/23/12 - 02:41 pm
5
0
The motion to dismiss by the

The motion to dismiss by the State is actually only a partial motion to dismiss. It doesn't seek to dismiss all of the claims. Even an order granting the motion will leave part of the lawsuit alive still seeking an injunction and damages.

bill cass
133
Points
bill cass 10/23/12 - 02:55 pm
9
1
Clemson

So if the Board of Regents voted to name the new school Clemson or Florida State University, those schools would be helpless to stop it? Dumb response.

charles6780
203
Points
charles6780 10/23/12 - 05:08 pm
4
1
Dismiss motion

Hopefully the judge dismisses the motion. Regents University pursues the lawsuit and wins. That is exactly what they deserve after dismissing the results of the survey and letter (from R. U.). What completely disgusts me, is the wanton waste of taxpayer dollars that this has and will cost. Governor Deal should have spoken up sooner and put this matter to rest.

Butterbean
245
Points
Butterbean 10/23/12 - 06:03 pm
5
0
On another note

.. it kind of signifies that there is not an effort to drop the proposed name since they are willing to proceed with a lawsuit. Just wondering.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 10/23/12 - 06:29 pm
5
0
The College of Krispy Kreme Science and Medicine

We could all stop by get a cup coffee, doughnut and a medical check.

bentman
462
Points
bentman 10/23/12 - 07:22 pm
7
1
Georgia Regents University.

Georgia Regents University. A mail-order-degree place, right?

skoolkid
10
Points
skoolkid 10/23/12 - 07:31 pm
8
0
Predetermined

They couldn't change the vote of the new name because it was always going to be Georgia Regents. I bet too many wheels were in motion before the law suit letter came.

rmwardsr
525
Points
rmwardsr 10/23/12 - 07:36 pm
7
0
I would suppose that members

I would suppose that members of the BOR are given Masters Badges every year. Why doesn't Augusta National get involved and revoke any privileges afforded the BOR? I certainly cannot believe the arrogance of such a group. What does Azziz know on them? This name, GRU, was Azziz's baby, the BOR just went along with it. How can a medical school gain national prominence with a name like Ga. Regents University tacked on it? I guess next we will have the Krispy Kreme School of Business.

rmwardsr
525
Points
rmwardsr 10/23/12 - 07:44 pm
4
2
This whole matter will be

This whole matter will be resolved this way: UGA is looking for a new president. GHSU has a campus in Athens, which has been referred to as UGA's Health Sciences Campus. Azziz is going to be named the new president of UGA. Augusta State University will become UGA-Augusta and GHSU will become University of Georgia Medical School. Do you think UGA would be embarrased to have to refer to the medical school on their campus in Athens as the GRU School of Medicine? Somewhere in some smoke filled meeting room in Atlanta, it is all being planned out.

harley_52
23959
Points
harley_52 10/23/12 - 08:24 pm
4
0
Excellent Theory....

rmwardsr. It sounds as plausible as any other I've heard, or imagined myself. The only part I'd question is that Azziz would be named President of UGA. I think he's screwed up the public relations aspect of this GRU naming process so badly that nobody would want him in another job where public relations is a critical requirement.

Ruckus
467
Points
Ruckus 10/24/12 - 03:03 am
4
0
Judge Hall is a graduate of Augusta College.

I hope they sue the draws off of AZZIZ and next time he'll take heed to the community

KSL
134593
Points
KSL 10/24/12 - 05:53 am
3
2
Harley, with Adams' current

Harley, with Adams' current salary, it would mean an increase for Azziz.

I would a whole lot rather live in Augusta than in Athens.

KSL
134593
Points
KSL 10/24/12 - 05:51 am
3
2
I am with Ruckus

We are no longer paying GA taxes, a huge amount, without votes.

KSL
134593
Points
KSL 10/24/12 - 05:55 am
4
1
Did pay enough over the past

Did pay enough over the past almost 50 years to have a say.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 10/24/12 - 06:55 am
2
0
Surprise 1+1 did = 23 Gov.

Surprise
1+1 did = 23
Gov. Deal said.
“We are fortunate to have someone of his stature here,”
Interpretation: Darn I'm glad this guy ain't running a college in Atlanta or Athens.

...point to ponder
760
Points
...point to ponder 10/24/12 - 07:21 am
1
0
I hope the BOR gets its to

I hope the BOR gets its to gets it hat handed to them in this suit. From the Governor down to Azzizz.... And all the other minions involved in this matter.

LillyfromtheMills
13977
Points
LillyfromtheMills 10/24/12 - 08:21 am
1
0
Wonder

What does it cost the state of Georgia to go to the federal courts to ask to dismiss this?

Butterbean
245
Points
Butterbean 10/24/12 - 08:23 am
3
0
Has everyone forgotten. . .

that the main purpose (according to the board of regents) for the merger was to save money. I would like to see an accounting of where any money is actually being saved. I am certainly not going to hold by breath for this information.

Novus
7
Points
Novus 10/24/12 - 02:11 pm
0
0
Same name

Clemson: "So if the Board of Regents voted to name the new school Clemson or Florida State University, those schools would be helpless to stop it? Dumb response."

Bill, states and private schools already do that. It would be perfectly legal which is why there are several colleges in the US with the name Washington, as an example. There is a private school in Florida named Florida College. There is a law school in Atlanta named John Marshall and there is one in Chicago as well. No affiliation. Maybe you have heard of a school named Miami University in Ohio and another named the University of Miami in Florida?

Novus
7
Points
Novus 10/24/12 - 02:16 pm
1
0
"Has everyone forgotten. .

"Has everyone forgotten. . .

that the main purpose (according to the board of regents) for the merger was to save money. I would like to see an accounting of where any money is actually being saved. I am certainly not going to hold by breath for this information."

Of course it will not save money. Using their logic, there would only need to be one state college per metro area, even if there were multiple campuses. Georgia Tech and Georgia State, basically across the street from each other, would get merged. Kennesaw State and Southern Poly. Armstrong and Savannah State. I could go on and on. Know why some schools are successful and other are not? They have different missions, different student bodies, and different admins. Their history and product are not the same. Their admission standards are different.

It was a stupid idea. Otherwise, using their logic, abolish every school name in Georgia and call them all the University of Georgia at Whatever . . . like some states have done. Then only have one campus per metro area.

I didn't think so.

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