You say Infringement I say First Amendment.
Daniel Moore paints photorealistic paintings of Alabama football. The NY Times reports that the University of Alabama has now sued, alleging trademark infringement arising from his use of the Crimson Tide’s Crimson. The article notes that Alabama had previously allowed Moore press access to the field (raising contractual issues), that Moore has been doing this for many years with great success (raising acquiesence issues), and that what seems to annoy Alabama the most is that Moore is now selling merchandise in addition to his paintings.
The online version of the article contains a slide show entitled “Art and the Law” which reproduces the subject work from the relevant Tiger Woods case and the Three Stooges v Saderup case. The Tiger Woods case seems particularly relevant here (although that case pitted Wood’s right of publicity against the artist’s First Amendment rights). In that case, an artist sold lithographs of winners of the Masters golf tournament. Many media entities weighed in with amici briefs in that matter, discussing the First Amendment aspects of that case.
Commentary on Moore case.
Commentary on Three Stooges / Saderup case.
Commentary on the Tiger Woods case from a University of Alabama professor.