Saturday, January 30, 2010

Who Dat? Whoops, I'm in trouble with the NFL.

Google "who dat NFL" for the backstory.

The NFL has decided that tee shirt vendors can't put the phrase on their wares and has sent cease and desist letters to a bunch of them. Something about the phrase having become associated with the New Orleans Saints and thus the NFL has full marketing rights to it.

I've been a lawyer too long. My considered non-legal opinion: garbage.


Wes said...

I am not a lawyer*, but I do remember something about the NFL trying to get a court (maybe the SCOTUS?) to decide that the NFL was one entity, not a league of 32 separate entities. Perhaps this legal action is an attempt to force a judgment there.

*though I think I'd enjoy the law, I must finish this PhD in music theory and give my wife the chance to do her MLS before I would even think about getting a law degree.


Anonymous said...

My guess is they're just trying to scare the little guys away. The NFL may well lose in court, if someone has the money to challenge them- but that won't happen until long after the SuperBowl is over.

Dave said...

There is a case before the Court brought against the NFL. It dumped all of its apparel vendors for Reebok, I think, and got sued by one of them for an antitrust violation. The NFL is arguing that it isn't a combination of 32 businesses with respect to merchandising, rather it is one and thus not subject to antitrust laws. Where such an argument would have potential ripples is in the league's dealings with the players' labor union.

The Curmudgeon said...

I hadn't heard about this one.

I suspect that "who dat" was used in the Crescent City before Archie Manning was even a spark in his pappy's eyes. And, yes, I meant Archie, not Peyton. So, while I understand how can the NFL and/or the Saints can appropriate the phrase for its commercial purposes, I don't quite understand how they can prevent others from doing so, too.