What You Should Know About the Dallas Cowboys Trademark Infringement Action

trademark infringement actionThe Dallas Cowboys trademark infringement action against a youth football academy

Recently, the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys filed an official action against two former players for trademark infringement. According to Forbes contributor Darren Heitner, the team filed an opposition with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board against the players’ use of the Cowboys trademark logo and colors as well as the players’ subsequent attempt to register a trademark for the imitated images. Will the team be successful in winning their trademark infringement action?

The details of the action

The Cowboys submitted the action in opposition of the improper use of its registered trademarks by the Palmer Williams Group. According to a Law360 report, the company is a youth football academy launched by Sherman Williams and David Palmer. Dallas took issue with the duo’s use of the navy blue star logo, font style and the trademark navy blue, white and silver uniforms made popular by the NFL team. Furthermore, in its action, the Cowboys’ owners pointed to the fact that the team was called the “Pritchard Cowboys” as proof of an improper use of registered trademark images due to its intent to imitate the NFL franchise.

In its filing, the Cowboys also stated that it was concerned with the possible dilution of its brand as the result of the Palmer Williams Group’s use of its trademarked images. This could damage the Cowboys’ future business partnerships, sponsorships and license agreements. That could, in turn, result in reduced revenues from advertising, merchandise sales and services offered by the team.

Ultimately, the NFL team felt the Prichard Cowboys’ use of its trademarked images on its uniforms, hats, t-shirts and sweatshirts was profiting off of the goodwill of the Dallas Cowboys’ brand. This could also confuse the public as to any association, partnership or relation between the two entities.

The expected result of the opposition

While a formal ruling on the matter remains to be seen, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office does not typically grant use or registration of trademarks that could confuse the general public over similarities. With this in mind, it appears the Dallas Cowboys will most likely win their action and force the Palmer Williams Group to change its team name, logos, uniform and apparel designs due to a threat of a lawsuit based on improper use of trademarked images and trademark infringement.

Do you have any questions? Would you like to discuss the matter further? If so, please contact me, Anthony Caruso, at 201-806-3364.

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Anthony R. Caruso is a business transactional attorney in New York and New Jersey with experience in structuring, negotiation and completion of legal deals involving business, entrepreneurs, athletes and performers.

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