NHL Seems To Think Cheering On Your Favorite Team Is Infringement

from the insanity dept

Of the “major” sports leagues, generally the NHL has been the most reasonable, compared to the MLB, NFL and NBA, on intellectual property issues. However, it apparently still has moments of insanity. The NHL’s legal department has apparently threatened a car dealership for having posted decals on its window saying “Go Canucks Go,” in cheering on the Canucks in the NHL playoffs.

“Consumers are likely to be misled that the Vancouver Canucks have an official relationship with your dealership,” NHL legal counsel Kelley Lynch wrote in the letter.

Plainly speaking, that’s ridiculous. How long until fans will have to pay a team just to cheer them on? The dealership’s manager points out the particular irony in this, since the team’s slogan is apparently “We’re all Canucks.” Except when the lawyers get involved.

Ah, but that’s not all. A radio station in Vancouver has also received a cease and desist letter from the NHL, claiming that a contest it was airing violated the NHL’s intellectual property. The problem? The radio station was letting fans of the Canucks take a sledge hammer to a van that was painted with logos of the opposing teams that the Canucks were facing, and of course they’re saying that the use of the logos is infringing. That is, once again, ridiculous. No one is going to think that’s an “officially sponsored” contest by the NHL. It’s just some fans cheering on their team.

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Comments on “NHL Seems To Think Cheering On Your Favorite Team Is Infringement”

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Thanatossassin (profile) says:

“How long until fans will have to pay a team just to cheer them on?”

Canucks Ticket – $185
Canucks Replica Jersey – $115
Dinner/Drinks at a Watch Party – $20
Sports Pack on DirecTV – $13
Radio play-by-play – I’d say priceless but I doubt anyone can limit themselves to being a fan through radio only.

I’m wondering why only the Canucks are being sheltered from those greedy people providing support and free advertising for their team. Is the NHL preparing the ‘official Stanley cup champion’ product line before the playoffs are over? Is Miller Lite already printing up Canuck logos on their beer cans?


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: To be fair...

The whole “sponsorship” thing is a scam. If I “sponsor” something, it usually implies that I have some vested interest in what I’m sponsoring. For example, if you sponsor a person to get them into some kind of organization, you’re putting your good name on the line for whatever you’re sponsoring. These are just advertising deals. And the companies call them “sponsorships” to try an elicit a connection between the two companies when everyone know they are separate. It’s like the idiocy with “Superbowl” sales. They can’t actually use the word superbowl so they started using “The Big Game”. Everyone knows what they’re talking about, and there would be absolutely no difference if they used the word “Superbowl”. The dealership should just change it to “Go Local Hockey Team Go”.

DogBreath says:

Re: Re: To be fair...

Hey man, lawyers need to send someone “cease and desist” notices, and/or sue in between the Olympic Games for “implied sponsorship”. After all, you wouldn’t want the lawyers to get left in the shed and get all rusty and decrepit, because then we would need to buy all new lawyers.

Jason (profile) says:

Who forgot the disclaimer?

Maybe the dealer shoul dhave put up a huge sign that said:



*This sign is a purely fan based cheer for the home team sponsored by the Canuck loving employees who work here. The Canucks and the NHL do no sponsor or endorse this dealership in any way shape or form and had absolutely no involve what so ever with this display. This is just our way to lend support to the home team and should not be taken as anything else.


Fred says:

Implied sponsorship

Realistically, I agree that the car dealer posting the signs is almost an implied sponsorship. After all, there is a long history of car dealers partnering with athletes for paid promotional purposes.

I guess the deciding factor would be whether the dealer posted the signs because they like the team and wanted to show their support or if they did it in hopes of attracting fans and increasing sales.

Canucky says:

Hey, Mike the Kike Masnick, you run a sick blog with as much credibiity as a rat’s ass. Come to think of it, you have a Jew rat face. Why are all Jews genetically deformed and evil? Take Eric Goldman, the ugly jew shyster. His mouth is deformed and when he smiles you give up your lunch. Larry Paige also has deformed teeth and a creepy smile. But maybe the worst of all, after you, Mike, is Sergey Brin. He has a huge hook nose and receding chin, the hallmark of the repulsive jew. But Mike the Kike, that’s got a real Hebe ring to it!

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