Spirit Industries (UPIC: SPIRIT) has made an impression on sports fans with its #1 Fan foam hands. The Montgomery, Texas-based supplier’s founder Geral Fauss is credited with inventing the foam hands, with an extended forefinger, in 1978.
Fauss secured a copyright for the design in 1978 and manufacturers the foam hands in his Montgomery factory. Despite holding the copyright for almost 35 years, he did not pursue infringement until he and his business partners formed #1 Fan Co. in 2009 to market the foam hands and other products. #1 Fan, which currently holds the copyright, has aggressively pursued violations, filing eight lawsuits to stop infringement. Seven of the cases have already been settled, and in some cases, the defendants now pay #1 Fan royalties on the products.
To read more about Spirit Industries and #1 Fan’s efforts to curb copyright violations, click here to read the Houston Chronicle’s coverage of their efforts.