NFL backs off trademark claim to "Who Dat"
We weren’t the only ones who weighed in on the NFL’s questionable decision to claim trademark rights in “Who Dat”. As we reported, Senator David Vitter was all over the issue like a cheap suit, as was Louisiana Governor Jindal and his Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, according to reports here and here (among others). And the winners in the beat down are: common sense, reason, the Who Dat Nation, and just about everybody but the NFL.
Of course, the NFL couldn’t just cowboy up and fess up to a mess up. No, it sniffed that it wasn’t really trying to stop the widespread use of “Who Dat” – rather, it was just trying to prevent use of that phrase “only if a Who Dat item also contained NFL or Saints trademarks or if it is falsely claimed that an unauthorized item is affiliated with the Saints or NFL”, according to an MSNBC report.
Wait a minute. The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.com reported that in late January the NFL had filed in Florida to register (under Florida’s local trademark laws) the expression “who dat” on apparel. And the Journal quoted the NFL’s blunt instrument cease-and-desist letter as saying that using “who dat” is likely to “confuse the purchasing public into believing” that items with the slogan are sponsored by the NFL. The Journal also quoted an NFL rep as saying that for 20 years the NFL has been “using and enforcing its rights in the ‘who dat’ mark to refer to Saints football”. So the latest spin they’re trying to apply to their problem appears to be, well, spin.
Be that as it may, reason has apparently prevailed here, so now we can get back to the matter at hand: getting ready to stuff ourselves beyond belief on food and alcohol while a bunch of overly large men beat each other senseless.
And, we’ll remind you yet again, that the NFL does have a valid, registered trademark in the term “Super Bowl” and will, if prior experience is any indication, continue to prosecute unauthorized uses of that term to the fullest extent possible.