Notice how in the last few years all the advertising has started referring to the mysterious “Big Game”? That’s because the NFL has sicced lawyers on marketers who refer to the “Super Bowl” without paying merchandising fees to the NFL, including suing Las Vegas casinos that offered Super Bowl parties or special weekend rates for the Super Bowl or contest promoters that offered Super Bowl tickets. (Eriq Gardner, “Super Bowl, Super Trademarks: Protecting the NFL’s IP”, Hollywood Reporter Esq., Jan. 29 via Lattman).
(Update: Frequent commenter Deoxy points us to this similarly-themed Indianapolis Star story.)
Those new referee uniforms the NFL implemented this year have a similar intellectual property provenance. The NFL apparently was concerned at the spate of advertising that used referees in the generic referee stripes, and decided to create a unique look that it could slap a trademark on and potentially market later.