As a user who watches only one football game per year, I woke up this morning to check my iGoogle page before starting my errands for the day. What greeted me should be no surprise. The NFL is at it again.. (actually it's against the law to say NFL without permission now, did you know that? Oops.) The NFL has already made it law that you can't say SUPER BOWL (oops.. I said that one too.. darn) without their permission. In response to that incredibly ridiculous trademark law that was passed a few years ago, radio stations, tv stations, and other mediums across the USA have responded by having to agree to call it the "Big Game" when mentioning it in their ads. That's why you hear about Big Game Parties, not Super Bowl parties on the radio station this year.
Now, they've taken it TWO steps farther into depravity. Since no one calls it the super bowl anymore, they feel like they're getting left out. Recently, in a moronic marketing attempt to garner yet more money for their pockets, the NFL applied for a trademark on the phrase "Big Game." First off, a trademark does NOT give a user the right to control how a word is used in common language. It is designed to prevent a company from creating a competing product (such as an international football league or a hockey league) and calling their big game "The Super Bowl." It's meant to help secure branding and identity and prevent confusion among rival companies who may try to use their competitor for branding relevance in the advertising marketplace.
Relevant Links if you want to see for yourself:
(Update: The NFL decided to stop pursuing the Big Game Trademark concept.. apparently the guy in their legal office woke up and decided to tell them just how stupid this idea is.)
In a similar act of mental retardation, the New England Patriots have decided to attempt to trademark the phrase "19-0" in preparation for their superbowl win later today. Umm.. in case you didn't know, you can't trademark numbers. Someone already tried that(intel) and the patent office refused, citing that numbers are not able to be trademarked. Will the hyphen make the difference? God let's hope not, else we'll have a rash of patent applications with people trying to trademark every number on the planet.
In rebuttal to this, the New York Post wrote an article about the absurdity of the concept, and then filed it's own patent application for 18-1, in pre-emptive support for their belief that the New York Giants will take home the cup in tonight's event. I think this is probably just a smack in the face to New England, but at least they had the courage to list their patent application number: "Our application, No. 77385477, is pending" the article states.
Relevant Articles about the patent applications:
- Super Trademark: Patriots Move to Protect '19-0 Perfect Season'
- ‘19-0’ trademark may block team’s gear blitz
- Patriots apply for trademarks on 19-0
- Cocky NE Temps fate with "19-0" Trademark
Can it get worse? Apparently so. Now the NFL has decided to take on GOD as well. They are reminding people that it is "against the law" to show the stupor-bowl in church on any screen larger than 55 inches! Yeah.. really... wow! Apparently, their goal is to prevent churches from being able to use the stupor-bowl to bring folks to church, citing that their advertising and reputation can not be used without their permission or without a license. Sports bars across the nation will be showing the Super Bowl (oops. I said it yet again) but they of course have an advertising license to do so. Personally I think the idea is great for a church to do. The stupor-bowl always falls on Sunday evening, the most common time of the week for most Christian churches to have service. In an effort to combat losing their religious followers, churches have said "Come on over to the house of God and we'll watch it together!" During the commercial breaks they often turn the TV off and have a time of prayer because the commercials are not fitting for a religious service. I think it's a great idea and they deserve to be commended for it, however the NFL says that anything over 55 inches won't properly limit the size of the audience and therefore breaks the law.
Again, if you'd like to see for yourself, read more about here:
- NFL Pulls Plug On Big-Screen Church Parties For Super Bowl
- NFL church ban shows big brother is out of control
I'm still going to watch the game this year.. and I'm going to cheer for the Patriots, just because I know Marisa like's them, but to be quite honest, all we want to see is the commercials! You could have a 40 million dollar national commercial day without the 3 hours of game interruption and we Americans would STILL WATCH just to see what the hype is all about!