PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Just a week after the University of Pittsburgh released new uniforms, they already came under fire with a reported trademark issue.
The Pitt Panthers unveiled new helmets that feature the numbers “412” above the visor. However, this did not sit well with officials at Pittsburgh-based clothing company Shop 412.
Panthers senior defensive back and McKees Rocks native, Damar Hamlin took to Twitter on Friday to show his frustration.
— Damar Hamlin (@HamlinIsland) April 12, 2019
“It was a Happy #412Day until I found out that @Shop412 made us take the “412” area code off our visors,” said Hamlin. “I guess it’s not really about the city. Smh 🤦🏾♂️”
The post on Twitter went viral and sparked hundreds of comments.
So they own the area code now? That’s ridiculous.
— PittCabe (@PittCabe) April 12, 2019
“So they own the area code now? That’s ridiculous,” said one person on Twitter.
Just tried to dial a 412 number and it said I have to pay $15,000 for licensing rights? I just want to speak to my grandmother. Please advise.
— DJ Gallo (@DJGalloEtc) April 12, 2019
Another Twitter user posted saying, “Just tried to dial a 412 number and it said I have to pay $15,000 for licensing rights? I just want to speak to my grandmother. Please advise.”
— devv stark (@devinnnc) April 12, 2019
Devv Stark posted to social media a picture of a “412” tattoo she has on her finger saying, “Do I have to get my tattoo covered up or should I just chop off the whole finger, @Shop412? I’ll hang up and listen, please advise at your earliest convenience.”
Shop 412 responded to Hamlin on social media saying, “East fellas! We are and have been working with Pitt on a deal for authentic 412 x Pitt.”
Fans at the Pitt Football Blue and Gold scrimmage today.
“I think it’s petty,” said Joe Romanelli of North Versailles. “I think it’s a school, they should be able to use whatever logos they want. I think the businesses should support them.”
“I live half year in Florida, and if you see 412, you know it’s Pittsburgh,” said Carol Moore of Trafford.
“It’s more about the community, Pittsburgh is a community,” said Eric Wilcox of West View. “412 is part of the community and everyone from here knows that’s a big brand. They should be proud that Pitt wants to represent them.”
KDKA News has reached out to Shop 412 for comment but has not received a response. KDKA also contacted officials at the University of Pittsburgh for an explanation.