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
    BlueNation, 2 Feb 2006 @ 3:27pm

    12th Man Trademark??

    So if a trademark does not give you exclusive control over the phrase, will someone tell Texas A&M to quit whining? In basketball, you have the 6th man. In football, the 12th man. The idea is that the home crowd helps their team win. There's nothing misleading or confusing about that.

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