SuperBowl IP

From Slashdot: Broadcasts and Promotions Related to Super Bowl XXXVIII

Summary of Use of Trademarks [In Marketing & Promotions]

You cannot say or print: You can say or print:
* “Super Bowl” * “The Big Game in Houston”
* “Super Sunday”

* The Super Bowl logo

* “The Professional Football Championship Game in Houston”
* “NFL”, “AFC”, or “NFC” * The date of the game (February 1, 2004)
* “National Football League”

* “American Football Conference”

* ‘National Football Conference”

* The names of the cities of the competing teams in the Super Bowl (e.g., Indianapolis vs. Tampa Bay), but not the team names
* Any team name (e.g., “Buccaneers”) or nickname (“Bucs”)

* You can make fun of the fact that you cannot say the phrase “Super Bowl” (e.g., by beeping it out)


[…] News Reporting on the Super Bowl Events

As you are likely aware, the NFL has a property right in the accounts and descriptions of the Super Bowl and sells the television and radio rights thereto. By reason of its creation of the Super Bowl, its control of the venues, and its restriction of the dissemination of the news therefrom, the NFL has the right to control the use of information relating to the athletic event for a reasonable time following the event. In addition, tickets to the Super Bowl are likely to include a restriction that prohibits persons located within the stadium from disseminating accounts of the sports event to the media without press credentials. Therefore, unless your station has obtained press credentials already, you will not be permitted to report on the Super Bowl from the venue while the event is on- going. When the event has concluded, it is permissible to report the “news” of the event, such as the winner and score of the game.

Courts have held that the copyright owner of a telecast — in this case the NFL and its licensees — has a right to charge a fee for the use of highlights. Therefore, stations should obtain consent from the rights holder prior to the use of highlights of athletic events and the half-time show in station newscasts. The limited case law in this area indicates that although the First Amendment may allow the media to report news on athletic events shortly after the event to a certain extent, the First Amendment is not likely to protect a station which broadcasts footage or accounts of an event in violation of licensed rights to the event and, in particular, prior to its conclusion.

Update: See this Yahoo! News bit: Vegas Hotels Canceling Super Bowl Parties

Some of Las Vegas’ biggest hotel-casinos are canceling Super Bowl parties and handing out refunds to thousands of guests after the NFL threatened legal action against those who broadcast the big game on big-screen TVs.

Several hotels received letters last week informing them that their parties were “unauthorized use of NFL intellectual property.”

[…] A Super Bowl party inside a movie theater at the Palms was scrapped after the hotel received a letter from the football league on Jan. 23. The gathering usually attracts several hundred people, who enjoy hot dogs and beer and compete in games and raffle drawings for $39.99.

[…] The Aladdin hotel-casino had to cancel its bash planned at the hotel’s 7,000-seat Theatre of Performing Arts after receiving an NFL letter Friday. Officials scrambled to find small TVs that they could place throughout the casino for guests wanting to watch the Super Bowl.

“The city has had events like this for years,” said Tyri Squyres, an Aladdin spokeswoman.

[…] Professional gambler Tom Burton said the hotels were providing a community service by televising the game.

“You can’t go to the Super Bowl because all the seats are taken,” he said. “The NFL just wants to dig deeper and deeper and wants to get as much money as they can. When is it going to end?”