Texas A&M has had to defend its "12th Man" trademark from infringement in the past, and the school is facing another legal battle over the use of 12th Man by a Minor League Soccer team.
September 20, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Texas A&M Defending 12th Man Trademark Again
Texas A&M students, alums and fans overwhelmingly recognize the term "12th Man" as the descriptor of the Aggies' football team's fan base -- fans so devoted and excited that they rock the stadium during home games. The school went so far to trademark the term in 1990. The school has had to defend its trademark from infringement in the past, and the school is facing another legal battle over the use of 12th Man by a Minor League Soccer team.
One of the more notable incidents of infringement occurred when the Seattle Seahawks began using the term 12th Man during the 2005-2006 football season. After the team had a successful run in the playoffs, the infringement came to the attention of Texas A&M officials. The Seahawks reached a deal with A&M after the school took legal action. The Seahawks received permission to use the term in exchange for an initial $100,000 payment and an annual $7,500 fee going forward. The Seahawks are the only ones who have permission to use 12th Man other than the Aggies.
In January of 2012, Texas A&M threatened legal action against the Denver Broncos because 12th Man symbols began appearing in the media during the team's playoff games. Texas has also had problems with the Chicago Bulls and the Buffalo Bills using the term 12th Man in violation of the trademark.
Soccer Team Using Trademark
The latest infringement issue came to the school's attention when a Texas A&M employee went to a DC United soccer game at RFK Stadium. The employee saw banners with the 12th Man slogan on them and alerted school officials. The school had already contacted DC United in 2008 about using the 12th Man slogan. The soccer team has not commented on the issue.
Consult an Attorney
As illustrated by the problems Texas A&M has had with infringement on its 12th Man trademark, protecting intellectual property can be challenging. If you have intellectual property and want to take steps to ensure your legal rights to it, contact an experienced intellectual property lawyer.
Article provided by Leslie Wm. Adams & Associates
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