NFL trademark lawyers vs. New Orleans t-shirt sellers

by Walter Olson on January 29, 2010

Unauthorized use of “Who Dat?” and a fleur-de-lis. [Peter Finney, Times-Picayune/NOLA] More: and a cartoon.

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February 8 roundup
02.08.10 at 8:29 am


1 Bumper 01.29.10 at 2:19 pm

This could be an interesting one. It has now been reported that the gentleman who wrote the original song got a trademark for “Who Dat” in 1983 (prior to the Saint’s trademark) and did sell merchandise with the trademarked “Who Dat” on it.

My own opinion is that the NFL is doing this to recreate derision and distraction amongst the “Who Dat Nation” out of fear that that a sacred one, a certain P. Manning, is probable to lose on Super Bowl Sunday and they just can’t allow that to happen.

The only negative for a Saints win that I see on the horizon is that President Obama has stated that he will “probably” be pulling for the Saints. And we all know what his track record is of recent.

2 KB 01.29.10 at 6:34 pm

CPSIA – yawn
Salt in N.Y – laugh
Lawyers overcharging – meh
WHO DAT – alright, now you have my attention. What the heck is the NFL thinking that they have some kind of trademark on how we talk down here.

Come on Ted, Frank… we’ve got to have daily updates and Congressional grilling until this foolishness is put down!!!


3 Invid 01.29.10 at 8:25 pm

Ummm. Saints beat Colts? Seriously?

It’s more likely that the NFL is trying keep people excited at what will be a blow out victory by the Colts.

4 Bumper 01.29.10 at 10:42 pm

Senator David Vitter has entered the fray by introducing his own version of the Who Dat tee-shirt.

Who Dat
say you can’t say
Who Dat?

And he promptly wrote the the NFL a short and sweet smack down. He has already received a wishy, washy reply from the NFL . Apparently the NFL had forgotten all about that little thing coming up before SCOTUS.

5 DeltaLawMama 01.30.10 at 12:10 pm

Archie’s Army (Archie Manning that is) has things well in hand. A ground swell movement of Who Dat Nation is mobilizing via social networking to take on the NFL by any means necessary.
See specifically Facebook Group:
“The NFL does NOT own the Fleur de Lis or the phrase ‘Who Dat'”
[Never underestimate the power of drunk/drinking cajuns.]

6 Bumper 01.31.10 at 1:55 am

Archie’s son is the quarterback for the other team. He has stated quite emphatically that he is pulling for his son and thus the Colts. No doubt to assuage some of the memory of owning the NFL record for worst record for a quarterback with over a hundred starts, accomplished while with the Saints. That said he is a heckuva of a nice guy and if we were playing anyone else he would be pulling for the Saints. But in this case we got better results from our Senators and Congressmen.

Saints by nine.

7 Melvin H. 01.31.10 at 7:32 pm

Surprising that the NFL hasn’t gone after those who sell replica Quebec Nordiques (NHL, now Colorado Avalanche) jerseys these days–those had the fleur-de-lys on the shoulders for years until the team moved from Quebec City to Denver, and changed uniforms.

8 GregS 02.01.10 at 11:19 am

I don’t understand how a business can claim a trademark on a symbol that has been in existence for centuries with a definite meaning. The fleur-de-lis has been a symbol of France and French royalty for hundreds of years; today it is also used one of the official symbols of the province of Quebec (and is on the Quebec flag). It also used officially by many departments in France. The Saints adopted it because of its preexisting meaning. How they can now claim to own it is beyond my understanding.

9 MF 02.01.10 at 5:46 pm

That said he [Archie Manning] is a heckuva of a nice guy and if we were playing anyone else he would be pulling for the Saints.

Not quite, Bumper. If the Saints were playing the Giants, Archie would have to root for the Giants, since the other Manning (Eli) is their QB. But then again, that couldn’t happen in the Super Bowl, since both NO and NYG are in the NFC, and the Super Bowl pits NFC winner against AFC winner. (Now if we can ever get my Bumbling Browns in the Super Bowl…)

Never mind. :-)

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