This Chrysler Super Bowl commercial introduced the tagline ‘Imported from Detroit.’ Defendant immediately started selling t-shirts with the slogan. The complaint is a good read as it tells the stirring story of the commercial. Personally, I like the “This is the Motor City. This is what we do” slogan better. It conveys confidence and competence (as opposed to ‘Imported From Detroit’, which either tacitly admits that imported cars are better, or subtly criticizes the customer for believing that).

Complaint Chrysler Imported From Detroit

Hyundai ran a commercial during last year’s Super Bowl which depicted (for a few seconds) an ‘LV’ basketball as one of a series of exaggerated images of luxury. LV sued (complaint here, but sadly, commercial removed from YouTube). I checked the docket today (slow weekend) and it looks like the lawsuit proceeds – the parties are in the midst of discovery. “Churches Wary of NFL Policy Sack Super Bowl Parties“:

After the National Football League gave warning last year to an Indianapolis church not to hold a Super Bowl viewing party, churches across the country are canceling their annual Super Bowl fellowships in fear of getting flagged for copyright violations.
North River Community Church in Pembroke, Mass., had scheduled a big gathering this Sunday with the big game on a giant video screen in the congregation’s worship center. But the church’s pastor, the Rev. Paul Atwater, called it off after he looked over the NFL’s policies and news reports of churches that were threatened with legal action for planning similar showings last year, according to The Daily News Tribune.

UPDATE: Trademark Lawyer and former tight end for the 72 Dolphins Craig Mende writes for Forbes on THE BIG GAME. Warning: NSFW picture of Craig.

A Florida radio station ran billboards (pictured above) showing Britney Spears and one of the station’s DJs, suggesting that she and DJ were ‘nuts.’ Ms. Spears contested the use. The radio station is pulling the billboards. Unfortunately, the Smoking Gun has printed only one of Britney’s lawyers letters, not the one that contains ‘many legal authorities.’ However this letter does site Florida statutes and law. Interestingly, the two cases cited do not apply to media defendants.
There is some precedent for media defendants to utilize someone’s name or likeness if the person was the subject of the media’s product. In Velez v. VV Pub. Corp., the Village Voice used an unflattering photo of local politico Ramon Velez (a subject of Voice exposes), in an advertisement for the Voice. The use of the photo fairly represented the Voice’s news coverage. 135 A.D.2d 47, 50, 524 N.Y.S.2d 186, 187 (1st Dept. 1988) (“[T]he incidental use in an advertisement by a news disseminator of a person’s name or identity does not violate the statutory proscription, if it had previously published the item exhibited as a matter of public interest.”
In Montana v San Jose Mercury News, the newspaper sold posters of Joe Montana following a Super Bowl victory, which posters were held to have news value due to their ‘relatively contemporaneous’ publication. Because the use was in connection with merchandise rather than a mere advertisement for the newspaper, this ruling seems like a bit of an outlier. 34 Cal.App.4th 790 (1995).
See more discussion by Stanford University Library here.
If you’re aware of Florida caselaw that would suggest how a media defendant using a name or likeness in advertisement for its services might fare, send it on in.

San Francisco Chronicle: “NFL Marketers Want ‘Big Game’ Trademark”:
“One way that advertisers who aren’t NFL sponsors typically attach themselves to the Super Bowl is simply to refer to it as “The Big Game.” As in, “Get your flat-screen TV in time for the Big Game.”
What is a generic term for most people becomes a very specific term in the lamp-blacked eyes of the NFL.
But the Big Game also has a very specific application for Stanford University and UC Berkeley, whose annual football game dates back to 1892. It has been known as the Big Game since 1902, according to San Francisco author Ron Fimrite, who is writing a history of Cal football.”
Also, weighs in, attributing the story to us.

Wendy Seltzer: “My First DMCA Takedown“:
“On Feb. 8, I posted to YouTube a clip taken from the Super Bowl: not the football, but the copyright warning the NFL stuck into the middle of it, wherein they tell you it’s forbidden even to share “accounts of the game” without the NFL’s consent.
Their copyright bot didn’t seem to see the fair use in my educational excerpt, so YouTube just sent me their boilerplate takedown. Time to break out that DMCA counter-notification.”

You know how the NFL polices the mark SUPER BOWL, as in, a store can’t say ‘Your Super Bowl Party Headquarters,’ because, you know, people would be confused.
So stores would say “Your Big Game Headquarters” or “Buy some snacks for your Big Game Party”?
Well, check out this pending trademark application, currently in the opposition period:
Goods and Services IC 016 posters, calendars, trading cards, series of non-fiction books relating to football; magazines relating to football, newsletters relating to football,notepads, stickers, bumper stickers, paper pennants; greeting cards; printed tickets to sports games and events; pens and pencils, note paper, wrapping paper, paper table cloths, paper napkins, printed paper party invitations, paper gift cards; paper party decorations, collectible cards; collectible card and memorabilia holders, souvenir programs for sports events
IC 028. toys and sporting goods, namely, plush toys, stuffed toy animals, play figures, golf balls, footballs, sport balls, toy banks, playing cards, Christmas tree ornaments
Standard Characters Claimed
Serial Number 78804122
Filing Date February 1, 2006
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition January 23, 2007
Owner (APPLICANT) NFL Properties LLC LTD LIAB CO DELAWARE 280 Park Avenue New York NEW YORK 10017
Attorney of Record Paula M. Guibault
Goods and Services: Men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, namely T-shirts, fleece tops, caps, headwear
IC 041. Entertainment services in the nature of football exhibitions; providing sports and entertainment information via a global computer network or a commercial on-line service
Serial Number 78803677
Filing Date January 31, 2006
Current Filing Basis 1B
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition January 23, 2007
Owner (APPLICANT) NFL Properties LLC LTD LIAB CO DELAWARE 280 Park Avemue New York NEW YORK 10017
Attorney of Record Paula M. Guibault

One of Jason Calcanis’ blogs at Weblogs, Inc. Network, used the term SUPER BOWL GUIDE FOR DUMMIES as the title of a single blog post.
No, it did not receive a demand letter from the owners of the SUPER BOWL mark.
It got a demand letter from Wiley, owners of the FOR DUMMIES mark.
Wiley’s letter is not a demand letter in that it doesn’t allege an infringement of rights and doesn’t demand cessation of activity. When pressed by Calcanis (CEO of Weblogs (now an AOL company)), Wiley acknowledged that one-time use in a title was not trademark use, and that Wiley was merely asking for attribution. However, the original letter resembles a demand letter in that it starts out with a recitation of legal rights, and asks for written assurance that Weblogs is complying with the request.
On these facts, Weblogs does not have to provide attribution. If you write a letter asking someone to do something they do not have to do, then you are asking them for a favor. When asking for a favor, If you do not use magic words such as ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘we respectfully request,’ then do not be surprised when your letter gets posted on a website.

Texas A&M has been using 12th MAN since 1922, the Seattle Seahawks have only been using the mark since 1984. What concerns me the most is that Texas A&M students sway in unison, making the stadium shake, That can’t be safe. Don’t they know that soldiers break lock step when crossing a bridge? (google ‘bridge synchrony’).
The SUPER BOWL is the official professional sports championship of the Trademark Blog.
March Madness post here.
Threepeat post here.