Thursday, December 18, 2014

NFL nixes man's idea to trademark term 'Harbowl' in hopes for Super Bowl matchup

You know when you get that one great idea to make money. It's the American Dream we've all heard about. Maybe you need a couple of things to happen to really make your idea lucrative.

NFL nixes man's idea to trademark term 'Harbowl' in hopes for Super Bowl matchup

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, foreground, stands alongside his brother, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, before an NFL football game. (Nick Wass/AP file photo)
49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, foreground, stands alongside his brother, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, before an NFL football game. (Nick Wass/AP file photo)

You know when you get that one great idea to make money. It's the American Dream we've all heard about. Maybe you need a couple of things to happen to really make your idea lucrative.

But, the American Dream doesn't always go the way you plan it. Sure, those things you need to happen are out of your control or maybe you just don't have the motivation to take the first step.

Well, that wasn't the case for Indiana's Roy Fox. He had an idea to trademark the term 'Harbowl' during last year's NFL Conference Championship. All Fox had to do was trademark the term, wait for the Harbaugh brothers to lead their teams to the Super Bowl, and cash in. It sounded simple, but Fox ran into one big problem: the NFL.

According to a report by ESPN.com Darren Rovell, the NFL squashed that idea. Rovell explains:

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"...in August, a couple of weeks before this season started, the NFL sent a note to Fox saying that it was concerned that his recent trademarks could easily be confused with the NFL's trademark of Super Bowl.

"There were two questions asked of him," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. "Was he affiliated with any NFL teams? The answer was no. And was he in any way affiliated with the Harbaugh brothers? And that answer was no."

In follow-up correspondence provided to ESPN.com by Fox, the NFL encouraged Fox to abandon the marks, citing conflict with its mark.

Fox said the league refused to provide him with any remedy."

So kudos to Fox for having the idea, but the NFL is no stranger to coming down hard on anyone who veers into its path (looking at you, New Orleans).

Also, I'm not a legal scholar so I don't know if his trademark claim would have held up in court. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

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