Super Bowl (TM) Weekend and IP Rights

Post date: Feb 4, 2011 8:46:01 PM

It is a little known fact that the terms "Super Bowl" and "Super Sunday" are trademarks owned by the NFL.

Looking back, this may make sense as you [should] never see sales or advertisements taking place during the big weekend referring to the "Super Bowl" as it would be trademark infringement. Usually, advertisers make hints that they are talking about the Super Bowl without actually using those words. For example, check out the front page from the most recent Wal-Mart advertisement:

Notice anything interesting now that you know Super Bowl is a trademark? Not once does Wal-Mart mention Super Bowl. Instead, they say things like "big game" and "game time" with a football behind it. Everyone knows what they are talking about, but they just can't say it. With this being the biggest weekend for TV sales, retailers have to find clever ways to advertise for the Super Bowl without saying those two magic, protected words.

Anyway, I bring all of this up not just because the Super Bowl is coming up (note: I can say the words all I want -- it's fair use), but also because the NFL is taking steps to crack-down on counterfeit goods that are apparently flooding the online markets. I guess the easiest way to find out that you are buying a fake is if the price is a little too good to be true. Kinda like when you buy $3 Oakley sunglasses in Chinatown.

Source: Wall Street Journal