Redskins Trademark Cancelled: What Does it Mean?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)  cancelled six trademarks for the name “Washington Redskins” on the grounds that the mark is offensive to Native Americans. But what does it all mean? Here are answers to some of the questions people are asking: What law is at issue?  The Lanham Act controls trademarks.  In particular, […]

How Boise State Protects its Trademark Blue Turf

Last night, the discussion topic in my Sports Law class was trademark law in sports.  We primarily discussed Indianapolis Colts, Inc. v. Metropolitan Baltimore Football Club Limited Partnership, 34 F.3d 410 (7th Cir.  1994), which involved a trademark dispute between the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore CFL Colts (back when the CFL had teams in the […]

Johnny Football and Amateurism

I recently examined the trademark law issues involved with Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, and his nickname “Johnny Football.” Warren Zola looked at the big picture over at the Sports Law Blog, weighing the rights held by Texas A&M and Manziel. Here’s an excerpt: 1. Texas A&M plays in the 2013 Cotton Bowl on January 4th v. […]

Heisman Saturday: “Johnny Football” Raises Trademark, NCAA Issues

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is now the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy, which will be awarded tonight.  If he takes home the Heisman, interest in “Johnny Football” will be at an all-time high.  Accordingly, I wanted to take a closer look at the trademark issues surrounding Manziel’s nickname.  As I recently discussed on “The Beat of Sports”, there […]

UniWatch on High School Logos

As a Patriots fan who prefers Pat Patriot to Flying Elvis, one of my favorite blogs is Uniwatch, written by Paul Lukas, who also writes a uniform column for ESPN.com.  Yesterday I wrote about the trademark issue involving The Morgan School in Clinton, Conn., which uses a husky logo that is quite similar that used by the […]

“Ball So Hard University” Triggers Trademark Dispute

An interesting trademark dispute is brewing over an NFL star’s catchphrase and the attempts of others to capitalize on it.  Terrell Suggs, defensive end for the Baltimore Ravens, claims ownership of the phrase “Ball So Hard University,” an obviously fictional school that Suggs has referred to as his alma mater.  Steve Kilar of the Baltimore Sun has the […]

From the Big Game to March Madness

Trademark issues associated with major sports events are in season.  Fresh off of the short-lived controversy concerning the Saints rallying cry of ‘Who Dat?’ Geoffrey Rapp over at Sports Law Blog brings us “March Trademark Infringement Madness.” In his discussion of the NCAA’s defense of the ‘March Madness’ mark, Rapp shared an interesting piece of […]

‘Who Dat’ – NFL, Lousiana Attorney General Clarify Proper Use of Saints Rallying Cry

The two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl are known for heavy analysis of the participating teams, anticipation of the best commercials and party planning.  Recently, another Super Bowl tradition has taken hold: the NFL’s zealous protection of its trademarks. The latest example involves the New Orleans Saints, and the chant “Who dat say […]