The Super Bowl® will be played between the Packers and the Steelers one week from Sunday, and it will be watched by hundreds of millions around the world. I can use the words “Super Bowl” freely because I am not in any way competing with the NFL and the revenue it makes from the game and the Super Bowl® trademark.
But if you are in the apparel or entertainment industry, or you plan to show the football game in some manner that is commercial, be very careful what you call the game and how you advertise it. At one point, the NFL tried to stop businesses from using the “Big Game” in addition the Super Bowl.
Last year’s champs, the New Orleans Saints, have been involved in disputes regarding the phrase “Who Dat?” The NFL has a history of aggressively enforcing it purported rights against multititude of businesses. For example:
- Businesses walk fine line when supporting Colts
- NFL claims trademark infringement
- Extension of time filed recently by New Orleans Saints regarding trademark applications for BELIEVE DAT and WHO DAT
- On Watching ‘The Big Game’
- “It’s America’s favorite ‘Big Game,’ but think twice before you call it the Super Bowl®”
- NFL Pulls Plug On Big-Screen Church Parties For Super Bowl
- For more tales of the NFL’s enforcement addiction, see Ron Coleman’s Likelihood of Confusion® blog: SUPER BOWL® Time!!
The NFL owns several registered trademarks for SUPER BOWL® as well as registrations for:
Whatever your plans are for the big game in two weeks, if you have any business related to the biggest football game of the year remember that the NFL’s trademark police just might be looking to make an example out of you!