In one of the most foolish (but not the MOST foolish) trademark maneuvers I’ve ever seen, the NFL was seeking to trademark “The Big Game.” Article here.
Jeffrey Standen, a professor of Sports Law at Willamette University blogged about it here, where we also had a nice discussion about the issue. Ron Coleman wrote a great entry about this as well on his Likelihood of Confusion(R) blog.
Honestly, I think Coleman makes fun of this idiocy enough that I don’t really need to.
Repeat after me: TRADEMARKS ARE NOT “WORD PATENTS”
Apparently, someone at the NFL must have read, oh, a trademark law nutshell, and reconsidered. I think that AOL Sports Blog has a better knowledge of trademark law than whichever genius advised the NFL to file for that mark in the first place.
[T]hinking it [the NFL] could control the use of words that are just generic descriptors was stupid, and thinking it could control those words when they had been part of another sporting event for decades before there ever was a Super Bowl was really stupid.
(Note, if you are a student in my Sports Law class and you want to comment on this posting, make sure you do so on the class blog).