As members of the imprinted sportswear industry, we all understand the importance of trademarks and the ability to trademark a marketable word or phrase so that your great idea isn’t just copied by others with impunity. But what’s your opinion on the story of Roy Fox, an Indiana man who says he spent more than $1,000 to file for the trademarks “Harbowl” and “Harbaugh Bowl,” in anticipation that Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers and John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens would one day face each other on the championship field. Well, his wildest dreams came true and here we are heading into the biggest bowl game of them all with just that scenario. However it wasn’t as easy as he thought. According to an article on ESPN NFL, the NFL encouraged Fox to give up his rights to the trademarks, saying that they conflict with some of their trademarks. I’m sure it’s a bigger legal issue than we all want to know about. But according to the ESPN article, the NFL and the Harbaughs have not trademarked anything related to the 49ers and Ravens match up and the league hasn’t yet decided whether any of its licensees will be able to make Harbaugh-related merchandise for the game. I’m sure there is a lot more to this story. What’s your opinion on the actions of the NFL? Have you ever had someone infringe on your trademark or copyright? If so, what did you do about it?
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