Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:40 am
Edited on: January 9, 2012 12:09 pm

Texas A&M going after the Denver Broncos

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Sunday the Denver Broncos, and Tim Tebow in particular, were blowing the minds of football fans across the country while beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the NFL playoffs. It was pretty much a wonderful day to be a Broncos fan, but it was also a day that may find the team in court soon.

That's because after the Broncos beat the Steelers in overtime there was this tweet from Texas A&M's Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Jason Cook.

Yes, before the game a man parachuted into the stadium waving a flag that said "12th man" and the flag was waved during the game. Which seems completely harmless and pretty much commonplace, but Texas A&M owns the trademark for it and is planning on getting its money.

It's not the first time that the school has gotten involved in something like this, as it filed a lawsuit against the Seattle Seahawks in 2006 for the same thing. Now any Seahawks broadcasts that mention the crowd as "the 12th man" also has to mention Texas A&M's trademark.

Seems pretty stupid, right? Yeah, that's because it is, though there's also an easy solution. Instead of referring to your home crowd as "the 12th man" just start referring to them as "the 12th player." Then Texas A&M will have to find a whole new way to waste everybody's time.

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Posted on: March 29, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 1:47 pm

N.C. State wants to remain one school Wolfpack

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As we've seen recently, universities aren't afraid to go after high schools for copyright infringement on their logos and other trademarks. It doesn't really seem fair for schools like Florida State to go after high schools, but it's the world we live in where college athletics equal big bucks, and merchandise sales certainly add to it. Further north in the ACC, N.C. State now finds itself in a similar situation, though it isn't going after a high school. No, N.C. State is going after a small university in Louisiana called Loyola.

It seems Loyola calls its sports teams the Wolfpack, and N.C. State wants to make sure that it is the only Wolfpack in the country.
The Jesuit school in Louisiana has called itself the Wolfpack for more than a half-century, but N.C. State says it owns the exclusive legal right to use the Wolfpack name and logo.
N.C. State Assistant General Counsel Shawn Troxler last month notified Loyola officials that their use of the Wolfpack image constitutes trademark infringement. Loyola's use of Wolfpack could lead to confusion and misunderstanding in the marketing-intense, big-money world of collegiate sports.
"People could think something is being sponsored by N.C. State," Troxler said Sunday. "We're in the beginning stages of discussion of how they could use the term 'Wolfpack.' "
N.C. State trademarked the name Wolfpack back in 1983, though Loyola has used the name since the 1930s. Though not trademarked, N.C. State didn't begin using the nickname until 1947. So I'm not sure how this will work in a courtroom, since I didn't study Mascot Law in college. What I do know is that N.C. State went through a similar case with Nevada, which ended up changing its name from Wolfpack to Wolf Pack. It's possible that Loyola may end up doing the same thing.
Posted on: October 14, 2010 3:00 pm

Florida wants you to stop using its logo

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There's a brand new trend taking place in the state of Florida where colleges go after state high schools for using their logos in their sporting programs.  First Florida State went after Southeast High School in Bradenton for using both the Seminoles nickname, and the spear head logo that Florida State uses.  Now Florida is going after another high school who is using the Gators name and logo, Palm Beach Gardens.

Palm Beach Gardens has used the name, logo and insignia for years, but it seems that Florida has decided it's time for them to stop, issuing a cease and desist order to the school through Collegiate Licensing Company.  CLC is a company in Atlanta that offers licensing protection to Florida and over 200 other schools.

Which isn't exactly music to the ears of principal Robert Egley, who himself is a Florida graduate.

"Initially, everyone was really upset by it," Egley said . "Why now? Surely there are other battles they can fight.  Legally, I understand it, but do battle with other people who are making money off it. We don't make a dime. We're just proud to be Gators."

Egley says he sent a letter to the CLC explaining that the school makes no money from using the logos or name, but said that it didn't matter and they may as well comply because the school can't "weather this storm."

Now, Florida does come off as kind of a jerk in this situation, since there really is no competition between the two schools.  It's not like there are people buying shirts from Palm Beach Gardens as a cheaper alternative for Florida gear.  Still, the school does have its reasons.

If the school doesn't police its trademark, and a hundred other schools begin using it, then the school would have a hard time proving that the logo truly belongs to the University of Florida.  Which would mean they'd lose a lot of money from merchandising.

Though who knows how much it's going to cost Palm Beach Gardens to get rid of all their current logos and produce new jerseys, equipment and everything else with a new one.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com