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Posts Tagged: "football"

The Rush for Redskins Gear Underscores an Exponential Rise in Counterfeits

The Washington Football Team’s (formerly the Washington Redskins’) move to change its name and logo has sparked a flurry of fans looking to “cash in” as national retailers pull the team’s merchandise off their shelves. Fans everywhere are hoping to snatch up any remaining Redskins-branded memorabilia they think may be worth money someday, which in turn is putting them at risk of purchasing knockoff items. Advancements in technology have made it harder to discern between what’s fake and what’s authentic, and the rush to find Redskins gear may make things worse as fans make snap-purchasing decisions and accidentally buy a knockoff item. 

Supreme Court Ruling Opens Door to Additional Constitutional Challenges to the Lanham Act

The Supreme Court ruled that the anti-disparagement clause in the Lanham Act violates the Free Speech Clause in the First Amendment. Matal v. Tam. As a result, the United States Patent and Trademark Office may no longer deny registration of a federal trademark application on the ground of disparagement. Several states, including Massachusetts and New Hampshire, have anti-disparagement trademark provisions that will no longer be enforceable either… The statute does not define ‘scandalous’, but like the restriction against disparaging marks, the courts and the PTO focus on whether a mark is offensive.

Industry Reaction to SCOTUS First Amendment Decision in Matal v. Tam

Lauren Emerson, Baker Botts, LLP: “Today’s decision, while not surprising, is momentous, as any decision striking a longstanding legislative provision based on freedom of speech would be.  From a trademark practitioner’s perspective, Matal v. Tam is also remarkable in that it is the second decision in just over two years in which the Supreme Court specifically has taken note of the importance and value of trademark registration.   The decision has drawn additional attention as it undoubtedly marks the end of Pro-Football, Inc. (“PFI”)’s longstanding battle over its REDSKINS marks, as 2(a) will no longer bar registration of those marks either.   I have little doubt that in the weeks and months to come, we will see many new filings that will be more challenging to celebrate than Simon Tam’s hard-won victory.”

Other Barks & Bites for Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

On the menu this week for Other Barks & Bites… Video game systems developed by Nintendo and Sony are targeted in a patent infringement suit filed in Delaware federal court. The infamous scan-to-email patent giving rise to the patent troll debate has finally been invalidated at the Federal Circuit. A multi-billion dollar copyright suits between two American tech giants gets new life from Oracle. California’s state legislature moves to create trademark protections for marijuana products at the state level, circumventing federal restrictions on such trademarks. And Zillow gets hit with a copyright infringement verdict.

New England Patriots earn trademarks to promote a 19-0 perfect season that never was

On December 6th, 2016, the USPTO registered U.S. Trademark Registration No. 5095619, which protects the use of the standard character mark “PERFECT SEASON” in commerce. One week later on December 13th, the USPTO registered U.S. Trademark Registration No. 5100521, which protects the use of the standard character mark “19-0” in commerce… And trademarks only exist so long as they remain in use, so to keep the 19-0 registration the Patriots will have to use it in commerce or risk it going abandoned. So it will be interesting to see how the Patriots continue to use 19-0, or if they continue to use 19-0.

Counterfeit NFL jerseys highlight issues of fake apparel from China

Misspellings, $20 for a $200 jersey, encouraging use of Western Union wire transfers, and no visible mention of being officially licensed NFL merchandise should raise at least some suspicions… Chinese production of counterfeit NFL jerseys and other sports apparel has also attracted the attention of domestic crime rings looking to make money from unsuspecting consumers, many of whom are purchasing a low-quality product compared to the officially licensed version.

Oakland Raiders file three trademark applications suggesting potential Las Vegas relocation

On August 20th, the Oakland Raiders filed three trademark applications with the USPTO for standard character marks on “Las Vegas Raiders,” suggesting the team is very serious about relocating to Las Vegas in the near future. U.S. Trademark Application No. 87145341 would protect the use of Las Vegas Raiders on football helmets, downloadable software and electronic guides related to football, jewelry, trading cards and other souvenir items. U.S. Trademark Application No. 87145339 would protect the use of Las Vegas Raiders for the conducting of professional football games, football fan club services, sports and entertainment information provided via cable or satellite as well as live shows featuring football competitions. U.S. Trademark Application No. 87145331 would protect the use of Las Vegas Raiders on a variety of clothing items, including jerseys, caps, visors, earmuffs, T-shirts, sweaters, gloves and scarves.

How head impacts challenge the NFL to improve helmet innovation

The harder and more unbreakable the helmet the better it is to protect from a cosmetic standpoint, but the more likely the helmet will transfer the power of any blow through to the brain… Helmets today are reasonably good at protecting from blunt impact, but that does not mean they do not suffer from serious problems. “A major weakness in helmets is that they do not protect from any twisting or torsion motion, for example when a wearer suffers an impact that forces his neck to rotate at a substantial speed,” Abu-Taleb explains. “This is a major cause of concussions, as the brain rattles within the cerebrospinal fluid inside the skull as soon as the rotating comes to a stop, causing multiple potential points of impact between the brain and skull.”