Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Don't Even Think About the Super Bowl

...or you'll have to pay the NFL, if they have their way.

Step 1: The NFL trademarks "Super Bowl".

Step 2: The NFL licenses out its trademark to just about any product category there is.

Step 3: To protect its licensees, the NFL polices all commercial uses of "Super Bowl". A sports bar can't advertise a Super Bowl special if they aren't a "Super Bowl" licensee.

Step 4: Businesses, being fluent in the English language, begin advertising the parties/events they're hosting for the "big game", Sunday, February Whosis.

Step 5: Feb, 2006: The NFL attempts to trademark "The Big Game". ("Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "GAME" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN")

Step 6: Now. The NFL gives up on that. Not because it's stupid, mind you, but because the Stanford/California game has been called that for over a century. They say they may re-file with language clarifying that they "only" claim a trademark on "The Big Game" as a synonym for the Super Bowl.

If Harvard and Yale get in on this, it's gonna be trouble.

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