As a small business owner who makes blankets, can I make NFL blankets and sell them without asking their permission?

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As a small business owner who makes blankets, can I make NFL blankets and sell them without asking their permission?

Asked on March 1, 2011 under Business Law, Kansas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't do this. The NFL owns its own trademark and copyright; the individual teams' trademarkes and copyrights are owned by the teams (though I think they are licensed to the NFL as well). This means that if you use a team name, a logo, the design on their jerseys, the term "National Football League" or its logo, etc., you are violating their intellectual property and they could sue you both for monetary damages and for an order forcing you to stop doing this (and requiring you to destroy any inventory). The NFL is a big organization with alot of lawyers that is very aggressive in protecting its turf, as are the teams; doing this would be a very good way to get sued.


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