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Same Old NFL: League Abuses Trademark to Shut Down New York Jets Parody Store


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I run a store selling merch for frustrated Jets fans (read: all Jets fans) that the NFL got taken down through a baseless trademark infringement claim. Thankfully, I have the support of the amazing Electronic Frontier Foundation behind me, who are representing me as pro bono legal counsel to fight the league. Here's a blog post they put up today explaining why the NFL's claims are nonsense.

Would appreciate any support from fellow Jets fans in spreading the word and sharing the blog post!

SOJ Store Logo 2.png

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I run a store selling merch for frustrated Jets fans (read: all Jets fans) that the NFL got taken down through a baseless trademark infringement claim. Thankfully, I have the support of the amazing El

I wouldn't exactly call it abuse. You're an IP Pirate.  And no, it isn't as cool as the word pirate might imply. Also, if you think folks won't realize this is just an ad thread for your kno

Lock, dump, ban, kill.    Good luck with your store!

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26 minutes ago, sameoldjetsstore said:

I run a store selling merch for frustrated Jets fans (read: all Jets fans) that the NFL got taken down through a baseless trademark infringement claim. Thankfully, I have the support of the amazing Electronic Frontier Foundation behind me, who are representing me as pro bono legal counsel to fight the league. Here's a blog post they put up today explaining why the NFL's claims are nonsense.

Would appreciate any support from fellow Jets fans in spreading the word and sharing the blog post!

SOJ Store Logo 2.png

How would you like it if I took that design you created and generated a bunch of merchandise using the exact design and made a fortune off of it?

Pretty sure you would sue me. 

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19 minutes ago, sameoldjetsstore said:

I run a store selling merch for frustrated Jets fans (read: all Jets fans) that the NFL got taken down through a baseless trademark infringement claim. Thankfully, I have the support of the amazing Electronic Frontier Foundation behind me, who are representing me as pro bono legal counsel to fight the league. Here's a blog post they put up today explaining why the NFL's claims are nonsense.

Would appreciate any support from fellow Jets fans in spreading the word and sharing the blog post!

SOJ Store Logo 2.png

Honestly man, I dont want to burst your bubble but I dont think you have a leg to stand on in this case... like at all. 

I read the blog post and know my share of trademark law, not saying I'm an unequaled master of it, but I can at least intelligently talk about it. 

"Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark (or a substantially similar mark) on competing or related goods and services. The success of a lawsuit to stop the infringement turns on whether the defendant's use causes a likelihood of confusion in the average consumer."

"Whether the defendant’s use causes a likelihood of confusion and so weakens the value of the plaintiff’s mark. A mark need not be identical to one already in use to infringe upon the owner’s rights. If the proposed mark is similar enough to the earlier mark to risk confusing the average consumer, its use may constitute infringement if the services or goods on which the two marks are used are related to each other—that is"

 

Any lawyer worth his salt is going to shred you based off of the stuff I underlined. I truly hope you have a successful buisness but I would focus more on adjusting your buisness strategy as opposed to digging into your trenches to make a stand. 

Reality is you're going to lose this fight. 

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@BROOKLYN JET None of my products are "bootlegs". That's the reason I'm fighting the claim. They're all meant to (somewhat playfully) mock/criticize the team and provide some catharsis for the frustrations of being a Jets fan. It started as me designing a "Sell The Team" shirt solely for myself after CJ promised Gase job security halfway through the season. And then some friends wanted some... and theirs wanted some... and I figured I'd start a store dedicated to creating apparel for Jets fans who want to essentially wear their frustrations. 

Sell The Team Shirts IG Square.png

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4 minutes ago, JoJoTownsell1 said:

How would you like it if I took that design you created and generated a bunch of merchandise using the exact design and made a fortune off of it?

Pretty sure you would sue me. 

I don't own the trademark to that logo, so you'd be more than welcome to do it.

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2 minutes ago, sameoldjetsstore said:

@BROOKLYN JET None of my products are "bootlegs". That's the reason I'm fighting the claim. They're all meant to (somewhat playfully) mock/criticize the team and provide some catharsis for the frustrations of being a Jets fan. It started as me designing a "Sell The Team" shirt solely for myself after CJ promised Gase job security halfway through the season. And then some friends wanted some... and theirs wanted some... and I figured I'd start a store dedicated to creating apparel for Jets fans who want to essentially wear their frustrations. 

Sell The Team Shirts IG Square.png

Looks nothing like the Jet logo 

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1 minute ago, JTJet said:

Any lawyer worth his salt is going to shred you based off of the stuff I underlined.

Did you read the blog post, written by my attorney, who is a trademark attorney? Here's the relevant excerpt:

Quote

The idea that consumers would think the NFL is selling official merchandise that mocks the Jets (using a phrase the team’s owner has called “disrespectful”), or says “SELL THE TEAM,” is ridiculous. On top of that, Berger’s parodies of the Jets’ logo and merchandise are protected by the First Amendment and trademark’s nominative fair use doctrine, which protects your right to use someone else’s trademark to refer to the trademark owner or its products.

 

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2 minutes ago, Jetstream said:

Looks nothing like the Jet logo 

I'm guessing that's sarcasm, but it doesn't have anything to do with whether or not it resembles the original logo. It has to do with whether or not a consumer would be likely to mistakenly believe that the product is approved by or sold by the Jets themselves. Those shirts say "Sell The Team" on them. Do you think consumers are likely to believe the Jets are the ones selling them?

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1 minute ago, shuler82 said:

what you’re selling isn’t parody

It is criticism, which is parody for all intents and purposes when it comes to trademark infringement. And the only question that really matters is whether or not a consumer would be likely to mistakenly believe that the product is approved by or sold by the Jets. I don't think you can argue that consumers of New York Jets-related merchandise would likely mistakenly believe that merch saying "Sell The Team" or "Same Old Jets" on a store called Same Old Jets Store is in any way associated with the team or the league. The NFL is essentially arguing that consumers are extremely stupid -- so stupid that they'd be likely to mistakenly think Woody Johnson is selling shirts that advocate for him to sell the Jets, or shirts that use a phrase he himself called "disrespectful" and has disavowed. 

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12 minutes ago, sameoldjetsstore said:

@BROOKLYN JET None of my products are "bootlegs". That's the reason I'm fighting the claim. They're all meant to (somewhat playfully) mock/criticize the team and provide some catharsis for the frustrations of being a Jets fan. It started as me designing a "Sell The Team" shirt solely for myself after CJ promised Gase job security halfway through the season. And then some friends wanted some... and theirs wanted some... and I figured I'd start a store dedicated to creating apparel for Jets fans who want to essentially wear their frustrations. 

Sell The Team Shirts IG Square.png

My mistake... 

Rant-Raves-Feelings

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1 minute ago, sameoldjetsstore said:

Did you read the blog post, written by my attorney, who is a trademark attorney? Here's the relevant excerpt:

Yes sir. I read the whole thing. Follow me here, you have a trademark attorney taking up your case, the NFL has an entire gaggle of trademark attorneys and unlimited money to throw at it. 

Yes your argument has some (key word some) sense to it, but their argument has substantially more sense to theirs. 

These laws are there for a reason. I own my own buisness as well, and if I were the NFL I wouldnt hesitate to take you to task either. A reasonable person walking past your shirt on the street could easily mistake it as a Jets product, the logo is that similar, regardless of intent or parody and that's what their lawyers will prey on. 

I literally just got done dealing with my own trademark attorneys to protect my buisness from exactly what you are doing to the Jets. If the tables were turned, your head would explode. 

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Good luck even though I don't believe you have a leg to stand on.  What do I know though?  I'm not an attorney or an expert in trademark infringement.  

Who are the people who buy these shirts?  I may agree with the same old jets philosophy and that the Johnson's need to sell the team but will never wear a shirt like that.    

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