NFL Wants To Trademark A Euphemism For Its Trademark

from the expanding dept

We’ve written in the past about the NFL’s extremely aggressive stance on its trademark of the term Super Bowl. Basically the league has sought to forbid advertisers from saying things like “Get a new color TV in time for the Super Bowl!”, so instead they have to use euphemisms like “The Big Game” instead. Of course, this is a total misuse of trademark law. The idea of trademarks isn’t to give one entity total control, but rather it’s to prevent confusion. So, for example, the law would prevent another football league from calling their championship game The Super Bowl. But advertisers may have to come up with some new euphemisms next year because now the NFL is seeking a trademark on “The Big Game” (via Hit & Run). The league’s stance is already ridiculous, but this takes the cake. “The Big Game” isn’t even something that the NFL came up with; it’s a phrase that other people use to describe the Super Bowl. There’s no justification for the NFL to control this term and then prevent others from using it. At least the NFL is trying to be careful not to overstep its bounds, as it says it has no intention of taking control over the word “game”… for now.


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Comments on “NFL Wants To Trademark A Euphemism For Its Trademark”

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53 Comments
Stefan Mai says:

I really don’t see their motivation for pulling such a stunt. They certainly aren’t collecting royalties from grocery stores selling chips and coke, so with “The Super Bowl”, their only problem must be trademark dilution. But with “The Big Game”? All this seems to be accomplishing is keeping people from talking about, marketing, and overall hyping up the event… part of what made it so popular in the first place.

Tyshaun says:

Re: Why is this here?

Is it just me or does this have zero to do with TECH dirt?

Techdirt is just turning into RIAAdirt, COURTABUSEdirt… but TECH? I don’t see it much anymore.

Very true, it seems like lately a lot of the “articles” are more like propoganda reinforcement than actual tech analysis. Ehh, as it’s been said every time a similar statement has been made, this is technically a blog and the content is bound only by where the authors want to take it. You may want to look at some of the more “traditional” outlets for slightly less biased tech analysis.

Green Bastard says:

Big Game

The big game is/are giraffes , lions, rhinos, and the ilk. Who give a rosey red rats ass about college football, yeaah I want to watch people learn to do something professionally…..If I did I’d probably watch a doctor or a mechanic at school, since the two most expensive things I break are my vehicle and my own self, “Cal and Stanford”… yuppie A-hole. If the NFL wants to do this, then screw em’ watch a movie(downloaded for free), play a game, OR, and I know this is a stretch, but get the fuck off of your fat useless american anna&britney are news asses, grab your fat lazy kids(who also have no common sense) go find some nature and go for a hike.
OR grab a ball and some friends, and actually play the God Damn game your selves.

Hoping someone gets off their fat ass

Green Bastard

Jon says:

Endorsement

Another aspect of trademark is that using the trademark may imply endorsement. If a rental place says “rent a tv in time for the Super Bowl” the NFL would claim that it implies that the NFL endorses that particular store. That’s an incredible stretch, but that’s the angle their coming from.

But yeah, trademarks are not just about competitors trying to steal your brand name – it’s also about non-competitors trying to imply that you endorse their brand name. That aspect should at least be noted in articles like this.

Chris says:

Tech and Dirt

Tech is the abbrivated form of Technician, only “recently” adopted to be the abrv. for technology. Dirt, if translated to be slang, usualy means brining into light those things people don’t want noticed. So to say “where’s the tech analysis?” when you’re reading a blog that has to do with anything that affects buisness, such as groundbreaking technologies, new consumer services, and the legality surrounding all the bs that is trademark and copywright law, then you’re an idiot to see how these articles contribute to the greater whole that is TechDirt. If you truely want tech analysis, how about you pay these people for their time and effort to recieve something you want.

Tyshaun says:

Re: Tech and Dirt

Tech is the abbrivated form of Technician, only “recently” adopted to be the abrv. for technology. Dirt, if translated to be slang, usualy means brining into light those things people don’t want noticed. So to say “where’s the tech analysis?” when you’re reading a blog that has to do with anything that affects buisness, such as groundbreaking technologies, new consumer services, and the legality surrounding all the bs that is trademark and copywright law, then you’re an idiot to see how these articles contribute to the greater whole that is TechDirt. If you truely want tech analysis, how about you pay these people for their time and effort to recieve something you want.

So basically the best answer you can give to what I thought was a very salient question is to derive some pseudo-definition of your interpretation of techDirt and state that if anyone doesn’t like said defiinition they are idiotic? In other words, your world view is the only truly correct one and any questioning therof is unthinkable.

[sarcasm]
Very open minded and adult answer Chris.
[/sarcasm]

Overcast says:

Yeah, lol

Maybe they shoudl trademark ‘No Fun League’ – it seems like that’s where they are heading.

Oh well NFL, I’ve always been able to take or leave football, I didn’t bother watching the ‘Big Game’ this past month, a friend invited me over to watch on his big screen, but I didn’t want to violate any copyright laws.

My 25 inch TV, well – I found more entertainment doing other stuff.

So one less person watching ‘The Big Game’. You can stick it~

Hopefully MLB won’t be quite this nasty, I’m a bit more fond of Baseball.

You know – maybe if the NFL tried getting some of their gangsta’ players off crack, it wouldn’t be so bad.

Football Hater says:

Football is for insecure men

Football SUCK! It’s watched by men who are insecure and need to feel like they are part of some sort of Macho men’s club. “Drink beer and watch football”….. The requirement for all red-blooded American men. BULL S**T! I’d rather watch a good Science program in order to educate my brain instead of watching some inane worthless game such as Football.

(Okay… I feel better now.)

Somewhere says:

Generic words / term

This set of works is not trademarkable due to the common usage for such a long time. If the trademark office allows this, it shows who is paid off. Anyone sued by the NFL has plenty of referances to the phrase to show never should have been allowed trademark status.
Yes I agree, the NFL lawyers have too much time on their hands, send them some petro jelly, I think they need some quiet time in the closet!

Oh and I guess my party with 20 friends watching 120″ projection was in violation of their crappyright? Doh, guess I better have them piss all the bud back in the cans so I can return it for my $$ back. Better pack up the stinkys back in the bags for return too… Lord forbid I don’t want to be in violation of their vapor rights. What morons, all the brands bought and used at these get togethers are the same companies advertising in the game.

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