It's The Super Bowl Of Trademark Misuse!

from the hurray! dept

Last month we wrote about how the Olympics, beyond just trying to sue anyone who used the word Olympics, was also trying to get laws passed in the UK that would grant extra trademark protections, even allowing the Olympics to control all advertising in the vicinity of the event. In the comments, someone noted the similarity to the Super Bowl... er... "the Big Game this Sunday". Indeed, mmrtnt points us to an article discussing how advertisers are forced to come up with different phrases to avoid getting nastygrammed from the NFL's lawyers. Again, this is a misuse of trademark law. The point of a trademark is not that you get exclusive control over the trademarked phrase, but that you can prevent others from using it a misleading or confusing way. No one could make a credible claim that an advertiser mentioning the Super Bowl is somehow confusing people into believing that they're officially associated with the game. This is a money grab -- which is not what trademark law is intended for.

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  1. identicon
    Vasco DaGameboy, 2 Feb 2006 @ 1:41pm

    Geez, What Do You Expect?

    I have been an avowed capitalist for a long time, but even I am getting tired of the overly crass commercialization of the Large Football Event. Now, it's not like the Big Championship was ever something that should not be sullied by adverts, but there's such a thing as complete and utter prostitution, which is what the Uber Match has become: corporate America's whore.

    Don't get me wrong...I'm not some San Francisco lefty with long hair and Daddy's trust fund griping about corporate fascists and eating Tofu while those T-bills Mommy bought for me gain interest. However, there's far too much commercialization of sprots going on, and the Final Showdown is the ultimate example. But the league's actions should hardly be a surprise when everything from the coin toss to the awarding of the Ombardilay Ophytray is sponsored. Even the first down line has Mr. AOL on it, for Pete's sake!

    The real question is: Are those sponsors cunning or chumps? Everybody makes a big deal about who advertises during the Booper Soul, but I'm more intrigued by who DOESN'T. Coke, Nike, American Express, Exxon...the list goes on. Sure, Bud and Pepsi will spend a gazillion dollars for a 30 second comedy bit that will increase their sales 0.000000001%, but I think the really shrewd people are those who pass this one by.

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