If I were to use a University’s team name and their associated statistics on a fantasy football web site, would I need to license the use of the name?

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If I were to use a University’s team name and their associated statistics on a fantasy football web site, would I need to license the use of the name?

I know that the use of University team names on a product that is sold is subject to licensing fees, but I am not sure if the same principle holds for a web site in which I would provide a free fantasy league using University names and my revenue would only come from advertising on the site.

Asked on June 13, 2012 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you would still need their permission to use their name. Their name is undoubtedly trademarked, and a trademarked name (or logo, etc.) may not be used by any person without the trademark owner's permission, whether that use is on a tangible product or a website, and whether the use itself generates revnue directly, or is used to drive or draw people to a site that produces ad revenue.

You can use their statistics, however, without permission--there is no copyright or trademark in numerical or statistical data--but be careful to re-lay it out; that is, you can't use their design, layout, way of presenting, etc. the data, but only the raw data itself.

 


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