SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Thousands of fans and alums of Syracuse University have signed a petition, asking SU’s lawyers to allow a local distillery to continue making Cuse Juice.
Matthew Fuller, a customer of Lock 1 Distilling Company, started the petition, writing “While the University couldn’t care any less about anything other than its power and bottom line, show your support for the Distillery and sign the petition!”
Lock 1 announced it has agreed to stop distilling the Cuse Juice orange-flavored liqueur, which is disappointing many of its customers.
Since the petition went live Monday, nearly 2,500 people have signed it, adding comments that shame Syracuse University.
Jennifer Carney: “The word Cuse stands for much more than SU, get over yourselves up on the hill. Small businesses deserve to be treated better.”
Melissa Duprey: “Signing this because Syracuse University does not own the name of an entire city just because it is located there.”
Deborah Bell: “Syracuse University has lost it’s collective mind on this one. In No way does this small local business associate nor imply their product is associated with the University. This is SYRACUSE University getting too big for its britches, and forgetting who supports it. I guess my next donation to SU will be spent on purchasing ‘Cuse Juice instead!”
Jennifer Byrnes: “As an alum of SU and a lifetime resident of Syracuse, I too am disgusted to hear that SU’s stance that they somehow OWN the ‘CUSE name. Taking down a small business is shameful.”
Suzette Haynes: “I am signing this petition because it just simply the right thing to do. This is a David vs Goliath situation in my opinion.”
William Chetney: “I will NOT support any SU activities for this reason!!!”
Bob Burwell: “I call foul on my Alma Mater’s bullying of this business.”
Stephen Lavine: “There’s not a patent on the words “Cuse Juice.” This is an example of the little guy getting bullied by a big money corporation. Lock 1 Distillery did their homework before they named this product and should be allowed to keep the name…”
NewsChannel 9 has learned about a possible clue as to why Syracuse University went after the name.
A Syracuse University wrote on a food news website that SU renamed its campus smoothie stands ‘Cuse Juice.
Just two weeks ago, SU filed for the trademark ‘Cuse Juice, with an apostrophe.
Lock 1 Distilling Company’s produce name was Cuse Juice, without an apostrophe. While the owners feel they have a winnable case, they say they can’t afford a legal battle against the legal team at SU.
Syracuse University did not respond to NewsChannel 9’s request for comment Wednesday.
On Monday, a Syracuse University spokesperson wrote:
“Syracuse University is a proud supporter of small businesses, as demonstrated by our recent small business fair, set-aside programs for minority, women and veteran-owned businesses and hundreds of other partnerships throughout the local community each year. As an institution of higher education with many constituents, we have an obligation to protect our brand and image. Lock 1 Distilling Company had the opportunity to continue to produce the product under a different name, but ultimately chose not to. “Sarah Scalese
Senior Associate Vice President for Communications , Syracuse University