Just an annual reminder that the NFL closely guards the copyright and trademark of the name “Super Bowl.” In the past, it has sued to protect its mark. In a recent blog, noted communications attorney David Oxenford reminded us again not to use the words “Super Bowl" without permission:
“Given the value of the Super Bowl franchise, it is not surprising that the NFL is extremely aggressive in protecting its golden goose from anything it views as unauthorized efforts to trade off the goodwill associated with the mark or the game. Accordingly, with the coin toss almost upon us, advertisers should take special care before publishing or engaging in advertising or other promotional activities that refer to the Super Bowl.”
Of course, you can have greater latitude in using the term when reporting the news. However, you still need to be wary of engaging in activities that the NFL may view as trademark or copyright infringement. This issue can get more complex than you think.
You can see a complete discussion of this issue in David Oxenford's blog here.