Patriots, Eagles Partner with NFL to Combat Counterfeit Merchandise
It’s nearly February, and you know what that means: the Super Bowl is upon us. In less than a week, the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots will be facing off in what we here at Promo Marketing hope will lead to an all-time classic street party here in the City of Brotherly Love. Whether or not it’s the Birds’ year, one thing’s for sure: these two teams have a bitter history.
Ok, so by that I’m referring to one specific game way back in 2005 that saw the Eagles lose by a measly three points. Since then, the Patriots have emerged as a dynasty franchise with a total of five Super Bowl wins, while this is the first Super Bowl the Eagles have played in since 2005. So, it’s pretty safe to say that hopes are sky high in Philadelphia, with distaste for the Pats at an all-time high.
Despite this history, there is one thing the two teams can agree on: putting a stop to the sale of counterfeit merchandise in the run-up to Sunday’s game.
Last week, in unison with NFL Properties LLC, Philadelphia Eagles LLC and New England Patriots LLC filed a lawsuit against unnamed defendants “Does 1-100” in order to head off the inevitable efforts to sell counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise and tickets before the big game.
Filed in a federal court in Minneapolis, the lawsuit describes the as-yet-unknown defendants as “large-scale, professional counterfeiters.” The purpose of the suit is to provide the three plaintiffs with the power to stop counterfeiters from producing and selling their false goods, as well as to enact an ex parte temporary restraining order, giving law enforcement the authority to seize any counterfeit goods they come across.
While there are around 180 companies currently licensed to use official trademarks on clothing and other products by NFL Properties LLC, the NFL still has to flex its legal muscles every year in order to prevent widespread counterfeiting. In fact, the NFL is known for being, well, a bit over-protective, having once sent a warning letter to an Indianapolis church for advertising a “Super Bowl watch party” in 2007.
However harsh this may seem, it makes sense. The league has an extremely popular and visible product, and with 32 teams throughout the country and millions of fans worldwide, the demand for merchandise is a huge incentive for counterfeiters to try to get in on the game. By joining forces with the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, the NFL is simply doing what it does every year, and that is protecting the credibility of its marquee event.
This glaring outlier aside, the NFL knows what it’s doing when it comes to handling trademarks. Counterfeiters, ye be warned.