Byline: John O'Brien Staff writer
NASCAR wants NASGIRL to find a more original name.
The national sanctioning body for stock car racing sued NASGIRL in federal court in Syracuse this week, claiming the Solvay-based women's apparel company is infringing on NASCAR's trademark.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing claims NASGIRL's owners came up with the name to create an association with NASCAR that would drum up more business.
Thomas Sciuga, owner of NASGIRL, denies the allegation. He said NASGIRL stands for New Aged and Sophisticated Girls Into Racing Legends. The name was not intended to play off NASCAR's famous name, Sciuga said.
Martin Elgison, an Atlanta lawyer for NASCAR, questioned that claim.
'It strikes me as an after-the-fact rationalization that has very little credibility to it,' Elgison said.
NASGIRL has applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a trademark. NASCAR filed an opposition to the application. NASCAR has filed 'numerous' oppositions in similar cases, Elgison said. That's usually all that's needed to get someone to stop using the NASCAR name or a derivative of it, he said.
NASGIRL sells women's apparel with a motor sports theme, but is not necessarily related to NASCAR races, Sciuga said. It sells sunglasses, tote bags, shoes, shirts, leather coats, wind pants, sweatshirts and sweatpants, dresses, swim suits, underwear, pajamas, sweaters, hats, visors, scarves, and gloves all with the NASGIRL name and logo, according to the company's trademark application.