Super Bowl Intellectual Property Insanity: No Big Screen Super Bowl Parties, Trademarking 19-0

from the the-big,-big-game dept

Well here are a couple stories to leave you with as we head into Super Bowl weekend. Every year it seems there's some insanity concerning the NFL somehow trying to abuse intellectual property rights above and beyond what they're designed for. Remember, the NFL thinks that it can tell reporters how to report on a game, while also forcing them to advertise for NFL sponsors. It also has been known to issue bogus DMCA notices. And, of course, don't forget that not only has the NFL bullied people into believing that you can't use the phrase "The Super Bowl" in an advertisement, after many advertisers switched to the euphemism "The Big Game" to appease the NFL, it tried to trademark "The Big Game" as well.

This year, the big news (as submitted by a lot of you), but first by Ryan, is that the New England Patriots have applied for a trademark on "19-0" to represent the undefeated season the team will have if it wins this season. The NY Post, snarky as ever, filed for a trademark on 18-1 in response, supporting the home town NY Giants. This, of course, seems rather ridiculous. What would happen in future seasons if some other team was able to go 19-0? There's also the question of hubris in declaring yourself 19-0 before that final game. On that note, you can already pre-order a book about the 19-0 season, even though it hasn't been completed yet.

That's not all, though. Last year, we had a story that got tremendous attention about the NFL stopping churches from having Super Bowl parties, if they had a TV that was bigger than 55". There was a lot of fuss about it, and you would think that, perhaps, the NFL would let it slide this year. Not so. Ethan Bauley writes in to let us know that, once again, the NFL has been going around stopping churches from holding Super Bowl... er... The Big Game... er... "Best Commercials Of The Year, Interrupted By Some Game" parties, for having TVs that are too big.

So, remember, as you watch the... event... this weekend, to do so on a TV smaller than 55", do not refer to it as "The Super Bowl" or "The Big Game," make sure to notice the photojournalists wearing sponsors' clothing, and certainly do not put a fair use clip on YouTube. And, perhaps, cheer on the Giants in their effort to make the 19-0 trademark question a hypothetical, rather than practical, question.

Filed Under: 19-0, copyright, nfl, super bowl, the big game, the patriots, trademarks
Companies: nfl


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  1. identicon
    BK1, 2 Feb 2008 @ 11:18am

    Not a fan here... Hoping for a better society.

    I played football in High School and I had a good time playing the game with my buddies. But that is where my interest in the game ended. I didn't even know it was this weekend until someone asked me where I was going to watch the game at this year. The only Superbowl related advertising I have even noticed this year are the WalMart ads where the ladies are overly excited about buying chips and soda or something. Football in general and especially Pro/NFL football is so insanely dull and pointless, I am glad to see that the NFL organization is putting on such a spectacle regarding trademark. Hopefully people get irritated and disillusioned enough to not support the pro-sports system at all and invest the billions of dollars each year into something useful, like their local schools or youth recreation leagues. It reminds me so much of Roman history it isn't funny. Everyone was at the coliseum cheering for the gladiators or participating in wars of conquest, while the integrity and success of the society crumbled around them. Priorities need to be reevaluated my fellow citizens, before it is too late. Instead of watching the "Patriots" go be a real patriot and do something useful this Sunday, and ignore the big guys in spandex tights who get paid millions to run around and jump on each other for a ball shaped like a testicle. The USA will be a better place because of it.

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