With the college football champion now decided, and the NFL league championships this coming weekend to decide this year’s Super Bowl teams, it’s that time when we post our warning about being careful with using the phrase “Super Bowl” in your promotions and commercials. Both copyright and trademark issues can arise at Super Bowl time. Trademark is usually the biggest concern, as there are always issues when broadcasters and advertisers don’t watch their commercials and promotions to avoid improper uses of a trademarked phrase like “Super Bowl.” But copyright issues can also arise when broadcasters or others make a commercial use of part of the game’s TV coverage, or hold commercial paid viewing parties where proper rights to display the telecast has not been obtained.
First the trademark issues that arise not only with the Super Bowl, but also with other big brand events like March Madness which will begin to be hyped soon after the Super Bowl. As we do every year when the Super Bowl and March Madness roll around, we remind broadcasters to scrutinize their advertising and promotions to avoid anything that appears to imply a tie-in with any of these events – especially where the trademark-protected name of the event is used in the ad or promotion itself. (See past articles here, here and here).
Continue Reading Beware of the Trademark and Copyright Issues in Ads and Promotions Involving the Super Bowl