Fredrickson Hands Off Trademark Advice
Boyle Fredrickson shareholder John Fredrickson addressed the Wisconsin Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (WISACCA) during the group’s annual conference in May. During his presentation – “Why They Call the Super Bowl the Big Game: Where to Draw the Line when Celebrating the Local Team’s Success” – Fredrickson discussed how companies use the popularity of sports and leading athletes for promotional purposes. But with billions of dollars at stake and complex sponsorships in place, companies are wise to consider the issues of trademarks, copyrights and licensing agreements.
When it comes to trademarks, Fredrickson suggests asking whether a mark or designation is protected as a trademark and whether an action—from printing a T-shirt with a logo to using a team name in a promotion—could create confusion. If the answer is yes in either case, you might need to gain consent before use.
“Sports capture the fascination of Americans in a remarkable way, so it’s no wonder marketers want to profit from that interest,” explains Fredrickson. “But it‘s also why the sports leagues and teams like the Packers tightly monitor their legal rights.”
For particular advice on protecting your company’s trademark rights, and respecting the rights of others, contact your Boyle Fredrickson attorney.
About Boyle Fredrickson
Established in 1999, Boyle Fredrickson has grown to become Wisconsin’s largest intellectual property law firm. You’ve got ideas, we protect them.