IBJNews

NFL prepares for counterfeiters of Super Bowl merchandise

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The National Football League has launched a preemptive strike against vendors of unlicensed Super Bowl merchandise by receiving permission to seize the property.

Marion Superior Court has granted temporary restraining and seizure orders to the NFL, along with the New England Patriots and New York Giants, after they requested injunctions on Jan. 25.

The orders give the NFL and the two Super Bowl teams the authority to seize unlicensed merchandise without notice. Those caught selling items without proper trademarks face financial penalties and will have their merchandise confiscated.

“Previous trademark protection efforts during the Super Bowl period demonstrate that the professional infringers who ‘work’ the site of the game will defy or avoid temporary restraining orders and will continue to sell their counterfeit merchandise in any possible manner,” the NFL said in its suit. “The only effective way to combat this problem is to seize the goods at the point of sale.”

The restraining and seizure orders take effect at noon on Friday and last through Monday, the day after the game.

The NFL has at least 20 registered trademarks protected by the court orders. They include Super Bowl, Super Sunday, SB46, Super Bowl XLVI, as well as National Football League, American Football Conference and National Football Conference.

The Vince Lombardi Trophy design and the designs of the Patriots’ and Giants’ logos also are protected.

“Plaintiffs have shown that notice need not be given because vendors and manufacturers of counterfeit NFL merchandise have no business identity and cannot be identified, located or notified … and if so notified would flee with the counterfeit merchandise,” Judge Cynthia Ayers wrote in granting the orders.

The NFL said in its lawsuit that it has employed security officers to search for counterfeit merchandise since Super Bowl XVII in Pasadena, Calif., in 1983. The league annually handles hundreds of instances of unauthorized use of NFL trademarks, it said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced on Jan. 26 that a sting beginning in September resulted in the seizure of 304 parcels containing 10,710 fake NFL jerseys at Los Angeles and Ontario international airports.

Most unlawful merchandise is produced by large-scale, professional counterfeiters through networks of anonymous and mobile middlemen and street vendors who descend on a Super Bowl host city a few days before the game and disappear without detection, according to the suit.

Cases usually are settled with the infringer’s agreement to quit selling the unlicensed merchandise, the NFL said. But when infringers persist, the league typically obtains injunctions in federal or state court.

“It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to identify the source of any given counterfeit merchandise that is sold in a retail store, at a street stand, or out of portable containers,” the NFL said in its complaint.

The NFL has agreements with roughly 150 companies that are licensed to produce merchandise relating to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.

The Reebok-Adidas plant on the east side of the city, a major producer of licensed NFL mechandise, is set to lose its contract with the league following the Super Bowl.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • No Authority
    A sweeping injunction to give the NFL the authority to physically seize any private property the NFL deems to be infringing? I'd like to see the authority for such an order.
  • Hope they're better than IMS
    I hope they do a better job of protecting their brand than IMS and the '500' - lots of unauthorized shirts sold up and down the streets around the track before and after the race.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I keep wondering why I keep hearing about this problem of corporations leaving America, and I never hear a reasonable proposal to lower corporate tax rates and raise personal rates on income from capital gains and dividends, especially for high earners. It is just too simple of a solution for Congress to embrace?

  2. Are you financially down and you need money to settle your dept,or you need money to start up a business or to invest on a huge business,we also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at low interest rate , loan terms determinant,Loan amount between the sum of $5,000.00 to $100,000,000.00. US Dollars And Euro. Loan for developing businesses a competitive edge/ business expansion. We Offer The Following Kinds Of Loans. Personal Loans (Secure and Unsecured) Business Loans (Secure and Unsecured) Consolidation Loan FIRST INFORMATIONS NEEDED ARE: BORROWER’S DATA’S INFORMATION,FILL AND RETURN FOR QUICK START UP PROCESS. Name:_________ Last Name:_________ Age:_________ Contact Address:_________ Country:_________ Amount Needed as Loan:_________ Loan Duration:_________ Phone Number__________ Monthly Income/Yearly Income:_________ Purpose for Loan:_________ Occupation:_________ How Soon is Loan Needed__________ Email via: albertbrownfirm@outlook.com

  3. is a disaster. SR37 already needs to be built to interstate standards between 465 and SR144. Southport Road is a mess each morning and evening.

  4. Bass Pro Shops would be good for the mall as well as a Giant Eagle Market District or a Jungle Jim's International Market Place grocery store like the one near Cincinnati Ohio.A Disney quest indoor theme park would be good.An Academy outdoor store would be good too.Indoor Circus shows and magic shows would be good as well. A casino with sports bar would be good.A Disney theater inside that shows movies and Broadway shows would work.Nashville Tennessee concert shops with indoor neon lights would be good.How about a theater that shows travel shows and theme parks. A train store would be good.How about a giant toy store with high tech video games.

  5. This development is in addition to Allpoints Midwest 5, Aitrtek, a recent FedEx and more in Plainfield. Greenwood and Brownsburg also have similar projects.

ADVERTISEMENT