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.
....Fox said the league refused to provide him with any remedy. He first asked the league to reimburse him for his costs to file for the trademarks. He also asked for a couple of Colts season tickets and an autographed photo of league commissioner Roger Goodell.
He says the person within the league office he spoke to denied all his requests. After the language got increasingly more threatening, including one note that said the league would oppose his filing and seek to have him pay its legal bills, Fox eventually obliged.
....Whether the NFL would have had the legal right to Fox's trademarks is highly questionable, according to R. Polk Wagner, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, who teaches intellectual property.
"My view is that the league was being overly aggressive in their interpretation that his marks were confusingly similar to 'Super Bowl,'" Wagner said.