Roy Fox, the pride of Pendleton, Indiana, probably never guessed he’d be threatened by the NFL’s myriad of lawyers when he trademarked “Harbowl” last year. According to The Washington Times, Fox hade the idea of selling t-shirts and hats for “some extra cash in case these brothers did ever meet in a future Super Bowl.
Well they did — a year later. And the NFL didn’t like that someone was trying to make a profit on it.
Over the course of August, NFL lawyers pushed Mr. Fox to abandon his trademark application. Mr. Fox didn’t want to abandon it. So the NFL pushed harder.
“If you are still interested in resolving this matter amicably and abandoning your trademark application, please contact me as soon as possible,” NFL Assistant Counsel Delores DiBella wrote to Mr. Fox in October. She warned that otherwise, the NFL “will be forced to file an opposition proceeding and to seek the recoupment of our costs from you.”
“I was threatened to be taken to court,” Fox told me, “and I just assumed I would lose, and I couldn’t afford the court costs.”
This sort of reminds me of that time that a Ravens player trademarked song lyrics and then sent cease and desist letters to local t-shirt retailers using it to promote him and the Ravens.