The Trademark Lawyers For The Seattle Seahawks Have Apparently Lost Their Minds

from the trademark-the-planet dept

You may recall that there have been recent trademark issues over the term "12th Man", which Texas A&M insists is its alone to use, even as the Seattle Seahawks perhaps use it most famously in describing their rabid crowds and the deafening noise their home stadium produces. Well, on the eve of the Seahawks returning to the Super Bowl, the trademark lawyers for the team have decided to make a run at getting their own trademark on the number "12" ... and just about everything else they could think of as well.

Despite that long history of onomatopoeia in the sport, the Seahawks are now trying to trademark the word “boom” and use it for the team’s own purposes. The effort is part of a quiet legal strategy in which the team has filed some two dozen trademark applications since October 2013 for phrases such as “Go Hawks” and the number “12.”

Football and the word “boom” have been married for decades, long before someone nicknamed Seahawks defenders the “Legion of Boom.” Way back in the 1960s, Minnesota Vikings running back Bill Brown was known as “Boom-Boom” for his similarly punishing style. Ex-coach John Madden bellowed “boom” during play-by-play TV broadcasts so often that, by the 1990s, it became his personal catchword, used in commercials featuring the popular pitchman.
No matter, apparently, because the attorneys are here to make sure the long history of "boom" and "numbers" in football belong to them for commercial purposes. The idea that a word that describes a sound could be locked up by a team, not to mention a number that describes the fanbase as a part of the team, is absolutely ludicrous. But the flag bearing the number "12" has already been approved for trademark. We'll have to see about the "boom." As for "Go Hawks", good luck to the Seahawks because there are very interested parties lining up to object.
The Seahawks’ aggressive quest for new revenue has led both the NBA and NHL to try to slow one of the trademark applications. And while Seattle’s owners were once sued over the use of “12th Man,” the team is now trying to seize control of many other variations of the term.
You can bet the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA and the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL will be throwing lawyers at the Seahawks' lame attempt to lock up language. Those two teams alone have an insane amount of merchandise in place bearing the "Go Hawks" language. So why haven't those teams ever tried to trademark the term? Well, because unlike the Seahawks, most professional sports teams are surprisingly lax when it comes to trademarking tangential language.
Scott Andresen, a sports entertainment attorney in Chicago, said the Seahawks’ pursuit of so many different trademarks contrasts with conduct by other teams, even those with a national brand such as the Dallas Cowboys.

“They’ve always been a little aggressive about securing intellectual property for themselves,” said Andresen, who has worked with other professional franchises. “They’ve really taken the position that the more intellectual property, the better.”

Just in the past few months, the Seahawks have petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a chance to oppose a film company’s application to trademark a geographical name featured in the blockbuster “Hunger Games” books and movies: “District 12.”...While the Seahawks’ team owners have submitted 24 trademark applications in the past 15 months, officials with the Green Bay Packers, last weekend’s opponent, have filed just 36 applications in the past 40 or so years, according to federal records.
So the Seahawks are especially insane when it comes to trying to trademark anything and everything. Perhaps they learned this deviant behavior at the hands of Texas A&M, and the cycle simply repeats itself with the victim becoming the perpetrator. Or maybe there's some kind of gas leak in the offices of the team's attorneys. Either way, it's probably time for a well-being check.

Filed Under: 12, 12th man, boom, go hawks, seahawks, super bowl, trademark
Companies: nfl, seahawks


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2015 @ 9:06pm

    Fuck. This. Planet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    jayhawkeye2 (profile), 22 Jan 2015 @ 9:13pm

    Go Hawks (Kansas that is)

    As an alumnus of both the Kansas JayHAWKS and Iowa HAWKeyes (hence my nickname) I can assure you that that Seattle is the far from the first football team to come to mind when someone yells Go Hawks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2015 @ 9:16pm

    It is funny to me that a site that so frequently calls out moral panics will repeatedly run legal panic articles without a shred of irony.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 22 Jan 2015 @ 9:44pm

    Re:

    Maybe because... not even wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2015 @ 11:50pm

    boom? wtf?!...

    in World of Warcraft a druid range damage caster is known as a Boomkin... Blizzard Entertainment will have a hissy fit in 3...2....1....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 3:15am

    Re:

    See, each of those is trademarked. You should write "****. ****. ******."
    But be careful because they'll soon have a trademark on asterisks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Violynne (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 3:23am

    I'm not worried as this won't get far.

    Michael Bay has lawyers too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 3:39am

    Re: Re:

    walmart already has a trademark on the sphincter logo... errmm... asterisk

    :p

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    gaeliclad (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 3:40am

    Theres a simple solution,ordinary single
    common words or nos should not be allowed to be trademarked, eg 12 , man , blog,
    if theres more than one sports team, company with hawk in the name ,eg
    refuse all trademarks for hawk, or go hawks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    got_runs? (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 5:06am

    BOOM

    Why hasn't dictionary companies trademarked every word in their books?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 6:37am

    Re:

    Maybe because the more attention you draw to how silly the system is the more likely you'll be able to affect change for the better?

    Knowing that something is broken is a prerequisite for getting it fixed, no?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Reality bites, 23 Jan 2015 @ 7:07am

    Couldn't happen if lawyers were't parasites and ignorant.

    Then to top off the incompetence cake the judge is a ape with a ridiculous wig. Kangaroo courts are now the norm.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Lesath (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 7:27am

    My hockey team is a lot older than that football team by at least 50 years,

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    mattshow (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 7:47am

    Pfft. CFL teams have been using the term "The 12th Man" for years to describe... you know, the 12th player on the field.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, 23 Jan 2015 @ 7:50am

    Re:

    We already got-a that, it's-a very nice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 7:53am

    I weep for the future

    Where did you people get your law degrees? "Read the rules!"(tm)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Dan T., 23 Jan 2015 @ 7:58am

    Re: single common words

    So "Apple" shouldn't be a trademark?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 7:59am

    Re: (adding to Gracey's list)

    Can we add pi to that list?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 8:05am

    Learn something new every day

    Football and the word “boom” have been married for decades


    I had no idea that this was the case. I would never in a million years have associated the two. Admittedly, I don't follow football, but I am a little surprised that I didn't pick up the association from my friends who do.

    I did, after all, know what "the twelfth man" was.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 8:40am

    I don't understand the title of the article. How do you lose what you don't have?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 10:49am

    I guess then

    that no players can wear the number 12. Damn those Seahawks! First the beat us, then they want to strip Aaron Rodgers' number from his very back!! Hawks SUCK!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. icon
    Blue Sweater (profile), 23 Jan 2015 @ 11:01am

    Re: I guess then

    Careful now, "Hawks Suck" may soon be trademarked.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2015 @ 1:00pm

    Aren't the Seahawks owned by notorious patent troll doll Paul Allen?
    They are just following daddy's orders.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Angel Tomasino, 24 Jan 2015 @ 8:49am

    I checked the TTAB site and found an opposition to registering 'go hawks'. Both the NBA and Chicago Blackhawks have filed a protest. The story is a bit misleading because '12' is registered as a stylized mark, so unless you use the number in the font and style and services as the claimed registration, no issue. But with 'go hawks' they went too far and filed it as a standard word mark, where font does not matter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Jan 2015 @ 7:02pm

    Re: Re: single common words

    Apple no. Apple Computers, Apple Records.... Yes

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Joseph Miller, 19 Sep 2015 @ 12:32pm

    Hi,

    Very nice article. Thank you for this useful information.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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