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
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Feb 2008 @ 2:41pm

    Pro sports vs. Amateur sports

    I love sports, yet I despise the big sports leagues. I hate them for several reasons. One is their utterly absurd views of intellectual property...the NFL is doing this crap again, and the MLB (erroneously) thinks they can actually own facts. Cheating, lying and steroids are rife throughout the major sports leagues. Major sports leagues are driven primarily by selfishness, egotism, and greed. Big league atheletes are crybabies that whine and complain that 10 million dollars to chase a ball around isn't enough, yet a fireman, cop or American soldier that risks his life every day so said crybaby can be safe can barely even make ends meet.

    Do what I do...watch amateur sports instead. For one, amateur athletes play not to become richer than Namibia, not for a shoe deal, not for a throwaway supermodel girlfriend, but simply for love of the game. You won't have to spend an arm and a leg to watch amateur sports. Amateur athletes aren't some whiny primaddonas that think they're more important than God. I have paid absolutely no attention to professional sports in years, and I haven't missed it one bit.

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