Goshen Township, police chief accused of badge copyright infringement

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 12:58 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2022 at 1:10 PM EDT
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GOSHEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WXIX) - Goshen Township and its police chief are accused in a federal lawsuit of copyright infringement over the design of the police department’s badge.

Louis Kohus of Mt. Washington says he designed no less than eight drafts of the badge for the department in 2015 at the behest of the chief at the time, Rick Combs.

The design was intended to be the final iteration of the badge to be used on the uniforms, vehicles, and paraphernalia of the Goshen police department, according to the lawsuit, and Kohus registered the design with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Combs said in a sworn affidavit filed with the lawsuit he expected Goshen to compensate Kohus, who worked with the manufacturer of the patch to deliver a completed product to the police department.

Around April 2016, Chief Bob Rose replaced Combs and, “at the direction of Chief Rose, the Goshen Police Department began to use Plaintiff’s design in all facets of its operations, without obtaining Plaintiff’s consent or compensating (Kohus),” the suit states.

Goshen used the design on uniforms, vehicles, vehicle decals, picture badges, memorabilia, and construction, among other things.

“The Goshen Police Department specifically altered and defaced the Design by removing the ‘©' symbol,” the suit claims.

Goshen Township and its police chief are named in a copyright infringement lawsuit over the...
Goshen Township and its police chief are named in a copyright infringement lawsuit over the design of the police department’s badge.(Provided)

Around April 2016, Chief Bob Rose replaced Combs and, “at the direction of Chief Rose, the Goshen Police Department began to use Plaintiff’s design in all facets of its operations, without obtaining Plaintiff’s consent or compensating (Kohus),” the suit states.

The chief is being sued in both his personal and professional capacities.

FOX19 NOW contacted Goshen police Friday. Requests for comment were left for the chief and township officials, all of whom declined to comment.

Kohus’ lawyers have not responded yet. We will update this story when they do.

Read the entire suit here:

Versions of patches

Affidavit of former Police Chief Rick Combs

Lawsuit “exhibits”

The Goshen Township Police Department issued a statement on Facebook:

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