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


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3 minutes ago, sameoldjetsstore said:

I 110% understand where you're coming from here, but that's not how trademark law actually works. I hate to keep posting the same quote, but it's only a trademark infringement if "consumers are likely to mistakenly believe the gear was put out or approved by the NFL". Perhaps you feel that's the case here, but I'd argue that consumers aren't highly unlikely to mistakenly believe that "Sell The Team" and "Same Old Jets" gear is being sold by or is approved by the NFL. Whether or not I took their logo and altered it is immaterial to a trademark infringement claim... you're allowed to do that as long as you're not violating the law in the way I just described. Further, because the phrase "Same Old Jets" is a criticism of the team, parody law applies under the fair use doctrine. 

We deal with so many people here that think we are the team. Not kidding. Social media, email form, we get requests all the time to sing the national anthem. Come to training camp, meet players, things like that.

I have to explain that we are not the team.

I think the probability of confusion will be tougher to beat than you think.

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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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19 hours ago, dbatesman said:

He’s right. Parody has been repeatedly affirmed as a form of fair use.

Then he can prove it in court.  Personally, I hope he loses.

Till then, he can take his (DELETED) ripped off merch and flog it elsewhere. 

JN usually has a rule about obvious "lol, buy my (DELETED)" threads like this.  For good reason.

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1 minute ago, Warfish said:

JN usually has a rule about obvious "lol, buy my sh*t" threads like this.  For good reason.

This isn't one of those threads, considering my products have all been taken down by Shopify and you literally can't buy them right now. I'm not here to sell anything. 

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Designed for the cynical fan in need of gear?  LOL

The NFL, if it decides to sue over copyright infringement will sue the balls off of you and no matter who takes the case pro bono you'll lose.  

As you should

 

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19 hours ago, sameoldjetsstore said:

This isn't one of those threads, considering my products have all been taken down by Shopify and you literally can't buy them right now. I'm not here to sell anything. 

Riiiiight.

(DELETED) pirate.  Tell your sob story to someone who cares, (DELETED) thief.

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3 minutes ago, Warfish said:

Then he can prove it in court.  Personally, I hope he loses.

Till then, he can take his sh*tty ripped off merch and flog it elsewhere. 

JN usually has a rule about obvious "lol, buy my sh*t" threads like this.  For good reason.

I was pissed when I found out they only go up to XXL as well. 

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3 minutes ago, Maxman said:

I have to explain that we are not the team.

 

Interesting. I think the most important word in the law is "likely". It's not just whether or not some consumers may confuse it... but whether or not consumers are likely to think our products are approved by the Jets or are being sold by the Jets. The law itself doesn't define "likely", but case law precedent helps there, and there essentially needs to be a high probability that consumers will mistakenly believe the trademark holder approved/is selling the products. I think it's a large stretch to make that argument here, but that's just my opinion. (Well, its the EFF's opinion too.)

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2 hours ago, Warfish said:

Then he can prove it in court.  Personally, I hope he loses.

Till then, he can take his sh*tty ripped off merch and flog it elsewhere. 

JN usually has a rule about obvious "lol, buy my sh*t" threads like this.  For good reason.

Dude calm down. I posted what happened earlier. We passed on this when it was possible to buy his stuff. His store has been taken down and I told him it was okay to talk about the trademark stuff here to see what other Jets fans thought.

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Just now, Maxman said:

I wanted to tag all the lawyers but thought maybe you guys wouldn't want it known.  haha.

I'd definitely be VERY interested to hear what a lawyer on here thinks. While I trust my attorney from EFF's opinion, a Jets fan who is also an attorney (particularly one well-versed in trademark law) would know better than anyone whether or not this is a legitimate infringement claim. 

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3 hours ago, sameoldjetsstore said:

That's exactly what I'm doing. And that's why I've retained an attorney to assert that's the case. 

But you're not. 

You THINK you are, theres a big difference. If you were, you wouldnt have got shut down in the first place. 

This is a matter of perspective that you cant see because you're biased towards wanting to be proven right. 

 

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1 minute ago, JTJet said:

If you were, you wouldnt have got shut down in the first place. 

I got shut down because Shopify's policy is to take down products that they receive trademark infringement claims for within 1 business day of the claim being submitted, and to leave the product off the website indefinitely until the two parties reach a resolution amongst themselves. In other words... if I was selling a shirt with a picture of my face on it and nothing else, and the NFL submitted a trademark infringement claim through Shopify's online form, they would have taken the product listing down. 

You may be right that I'm biased. In fact, of course I am. It's my business and I put a lot of time and effort into it. But amongst that effort, I did extensive research on trademark law, fair use, etc. and consulted with a trademark attorney before launching the store for this very reason. I was told that my products were unquestionably not infringements. And now, the leading nonprofit in digital civil liberties (with trademark law being one of their areas of expertise) says the same and is dedicating pro bono attorney hours to fighting for me. 

So all I'll ask is... is it possible I'm not infringing on any trademarks? 

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3 minutes ago, sameoldjetsstore said:

I apologized for that earlier and stopped doing it. I apologize again now. I just removed them all. That said, I don't think the name-calling is warranted. 

Maybe not. 

You rub me the wrong way. 

I think your merchandise is trash and I don't think you should be allowed to sell that junk and get away with it. 

But you are right, I shouldn't have called you a name. 

I apologize. 

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2 minutes ago, slimjasi said:

Look at it from the NFL's perspective. 

I'm going to guess the NFL's perspective is that they can send trademark infringement claims to anyone selling any product that has anything to do with any NFL team, whether or not the claim has any validity, and they know that 99.9% of the time the threat alone will scare that person off and they'll close down shop. 

The claim they sent was a copy and paste that didn't specifically address anything related to my store. And in the section where they're asked to note which trademarks are being infringed, they listed all 32 NFL team names, all 32 NFL team logos, the NFL name, and the NFL logo. I'm going to guess that it's somebody's job to troll for e-commerce sites with the name of any of the 32 NFL teams and infringement or not, copy and paste the same thing into the form over and over again. 

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Why not just design your own stuff that’s not a carbon copy of the Jets logo? I mean cmon dude you’re literally just piggy backing off someone else’s design lol you should lose. Be original 

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I'm all for someone making a shirt, wearing a shirt that obviously rips off the Jets logo and mocks the team, but I can't support someone then selling and profiting off of it.  A one-off, made my own shirt kinda thing is fine.

It's like Weird Al Yankovich.  He couldn't parody Michael Jackson's "Beat it" with "Eat it" without obtaining approval and paying some royalties/compensation for blatantly copying the underlying music and modifying the lyrics.

Good luck to you, man.  I support the entrepreneurial spirit but we need to protect IP in this country.  We're in a multi-billion $$ trade war with China over their theft of digital IP and $25 Coach handbags.

 

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Just now, SR24 said:

Why not just design your own stuff that’s not a carbon copy of the Jets logo?

I was actually working with a designer on a number of new ideas I had when the site got shut down. My thought process when I made the "Same Old Jets" products was that fans could either buy something with the Jets logo on it and put more cash in the pockets of owners who don't give a sh*t about winning a Super Bowl, or they could buy something with my logo and give a young adult struggling financially and hustling his tail off some extra money. And while "Sell The Team" t-shirts aren't an original concept, there was nobody out there making them for the Jets, which was the starting point for my store. I had an old "Sell The Team" Mets shirt from years and years ago, and I searched online to try and find a Jets one and couldn't, so I made one. 

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3 minutes ago, joewilly12 said:

Free t-shirts would help calm the anger. 

If I win my battle and get my store back online, I'll give y'all some free shirts for spending the day debating with me! Agree or disagree with me... love or hate the products... I appreciate the discussion.

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6 minutes ago, sameoldjetsstore said:

I'm going to guess the NFL's perspective is that they can send trademark infringement claims to anyone selling any product that has anything to do with any NFL team, whether or not the claim has any validity, and they know that 99.9% of the time the threat alone will scare that person off and they'll close down shop. 

The claim they sent was a copy and paste that didn't specifically address anything related to my store. And in the section where they're asked to note which trademarks are being infringed, they listed all 32 NFL team names, all 32 NFL team logos, the NFL name, and the NFL logo. I'm going to guess that it's somebody's job to troll for e-commerce sites with the name of any of the 32 NFL teams and infringement or not, copy and paste the same thing into the form over and over again. 

The NFL's perspective is that you are ripping off their logo. 

You can sell merchandise that basically says "I'm ashamed of being a NYJ fan because they suck" if that's what floats your boat.

But . . . it can't have a logo that is virtually indistinguishable from the NYJ logo at first glance. 

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5 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

It's like Weird Al Yankovich.

That's actually not true. Weird Al asks artists if he can do parodies of their songs out of respect for them, but there's no copyright violation with parody music because of the fair use doctrine (which is the same thing I'm arguing applies here). You can read more about Weird Al specifically here.

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