Q&A: NFL trademarks

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From NUVO (Indianapolis):

Q: What’s the legality of using the words Super Bowl? Is there a difference between using it editorially and using it in an ad or house ad?  

A: The Super Bowl is a trademark term that the NFL guards jealously. You can say “Super Bowl” in your news copy, but any advertising or promotional material must not use the words “Super Bowl.”

The NFL makes tons of money by letting certain companies be the official sponsor of whatever for the Super Bowl.

You shouldn’t let a bar, for example, advertise its big-screen TVs as the perfect place to watch the “Super Bowl.” The NFL would argue that such an ad implies the league endorsed the bar as a location to view its game, so the bar is profiting off of the use of “Super Bowl.”

Instead say it’s the perfect place to watch “Sunday’s game.”

Click here for a complete list of NFL trademark do’s and don’ts.

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.

 

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