Since the departure of Brady Hoke, former Michigan football coach, LSA juniors Zachary Bruch and Ryan Luck have been eager to welcome Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh to Ann Arbor — or as they call it, “Ann Arbaugh.”

Bruch and Luck filed to trademark the phrase “Ann Arbaugh” on the day of the press conference announcing Harbaugh’s arrival Dec. 30. They started selling affiliated products the day before.

“Before the press conference, we went ahead and decided to file for the trademark. We kind of just took the risk,” Luck said.

With the help of Luck’s friend Benjamin Frost, owner of Frostees Apparel, a Tallahassee-based screen-printing T-shirt company, Luck and Bruch designed apparel, most of which reads “Ann Arbaugh” across the front.

“We wanted that ‘Ann Arbaugh’ name on the chest,” Luck said. “Everyone’s been proud to rep that.”

Bruch and Luck now sell a variety of products through their website, ann-arbaugh.com, including three different short-sleeved T-shirts, three long-sleeved T-shirts and three sweatshirts. The short-sleeved shirts go for $15 each; the long-sleeved shirts cost $22; the sweatshirts are $30.

In addition to the “Ann Arbaugh” prints, they also have variations that read “The Khakis, The Khakis, The Khakis” in honor of storied coach Bo Schembechler’s mantra, “The team, the team, the team,” and Harbaugh’s well-known preference for khaki pants.

LSA freshman Rachel Steir was the first “Ann Arbaugh” customer. She discovered the product in Bruch and Luck’s post in the Facebook group “University of Michigan Class of 2018”.

“I was really impressed; I thought it was really creative,” she said. “My whole family has ordered the shirts; we love them.”

The orders, however, are not only coming from Michigan students, Luck said. They’re coming from Kentucky, Texas, Kansas, California and all over the United States.

As their business grows, Bruch and Luck say they are unsure what to expect next, especially as the process happened very quickly and their trademark application has yet to be approved.

Stephanie Wydick, an assistant of social media for the Detroit Red Wings, also filed to trademark “Ann Arbaugh” on Dec. 30 — the same day as Bruch and Luck.

Her request appears to have arrived hours after the one made by Bruch and Luck, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.

Wydick’s application was filed on an intent-to-use basis, meaning she would plan to use the slogan if approved; whereas Bruch and Luck’s filing was on an actual-use basis, meaning they had already begun selling their product before applying for trademark.

According to Chris Falkowski, an intellectual property attorney based in Detroit, actual use applications are in a stronger position than intent-to-use applications.

Falkowski added that there could be a few hurdles as far as attaining a trademark for “Ann Arbaugh.”

The first is that Ann Arbor is a geographic location — one that cannot be trademarked. While “Ann Arbaugh” is not directly a geographic location, it could potentially raise some issues. The second is that Harbaugh himself has the right of publicity to his name and he could potentially claim that right.

Bruch and Luck, however, are not concerned.

“We’ve been talking about this idea forever,” Bruch said. “We’ve known that this is our idea, our content, our intellectual property.”

The pair expects to hear about the trademark ruling within the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, they’re enjoying the process.

“It’s been great, it’s a great opportunity — and Harbaugh, Harbaugh’s going to be here for a while,” Luck said. “It’s going to be the Harbaugh era … there’s this whole new buzz and excitement at the school. We’re really glad to be a part of it.”

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