New Jersey football fans may or may not have been happy to see the Green Bay Packers out of the playoffs in 2017. However, the Packers are still making headlines as they defend one of their trademarks in court. Specifically, the team is contesting the efforts of McClatchy U.S.A. to register Titletown, TX as a trademark. The Packers claim that they own the trademark to Titletown and that the new trademark would be too similar to its own.
Titletown, TX is the name of a documentary about the 2016 Aledo Bearcats. That team was seeking its sixth state title over the past eight seasons. However, the Packers use the word “Titletown” to market itself as a championship organization at the professional level. A court will need to decide whether the addition of TX at the end of Titletown will be enough to allay any confusion a person may have when seeing it.
While a trademark may offer protection to the person or entity that holds it, having the trademark by itself may not preclude others from using that mark. As a general rule, the person or entity who holds it must actively use it to increase the legitimacy of an infringement claim. In some cases, it may also be necessary to defend the mark against those who may try to infringe upon a trademark holder’s rights.
Those who believe that their trademark has been infringed upon may wish to consult with an attorney who can provide advice as to whether or not a lawsuit is necessary to put a stop to such behavior. In some cases, it may be possible to get an infringing party to cease potentially illegal activity by sending a cease and desist letter.