If you were thinking that someone should have trademarked the terms “Harbowl” or “The Harbaugh Bowl,” you’re a little late to the party. Someone got that bright idea last year, when the possibility of a the San Francisco 49ers (coached by Jim Harbaugh) and the Baltimore Ravens (coached by John Harbaugh) were potential opponents, before both falling the their respective conference championships. That didn’t stop and Ron Fox from filing trademark applications for the terms.
This year the two teams and the two brothers both made it to the Super Bowl. The NFL took notice of the trademark applications. ESPN reports on the fallout.
The NFL pressured an Indiana man to give up his quest to trademark “Harbowl,” even though the man might have had a legal right to do so.
Last February, Roy Fox said he spent more than $1,000 to file for the trademarks “Harbowl” and “Harbaugh Bowl,” in anticipation that Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers and John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens might soon play in the big game.
“Right before the conference championship games last year, I thought to myself, ‘Can you imagine if these guys played each other?'” Fox said. “If Pat Riley would go through the trouble of trademarking three-peat, why shouldn’t I try this?”
But 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.
After threatening to bury the guy in legal bills, the NFL got Fox to drop his trademark application. While that may suck for Fox, it means that businesses and individuals might have another moniker for “the big game” that may keep the NFL’s trademark enforcement team at bay, since they don’t have a trademark on the name either.