Seahawks themed business colors... Legal question.

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  • So I just took a HUGE step and purchased the business I have been working at for a few years. The place needs a face lift, and of course I want to go Seahawks colors and have signed jerseys and memorabilia in the shop. What do you guys think I should do to protect myself from leagle action from the NoFunLeague? Thanks all.
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    Sprfunk
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  • I think the NFL has a document of guidelines somewhere for stuff like this. Try calling the NFL main office or press line, I'm sure they can point you in the right direction, at least.
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    RolandDeschain
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  • Correct me, but I believe colors are fair game, it's when you copy styles, proper names, and logos, there is a problem.

    When you look at how people successfully "copy" someone else's scheme, they purposely misspell proper names and add (or remove) key styling points that make the first glance capture the similarity, but under scrutiny the differences can be seen. Like "Korn Flaykes" for example.

    There are ways to do it. Consult your attorney.

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    HoustonHawk82
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  • Talk to Aros, he's had lots of practice with legal idiots on retainer to the NFL.

    They had lots of nit picking things they wanted changed but Todd told them to take a hike about the blue color since blue is fricikin blue. I think they backed off on that particular part.

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    The Radish
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  • I too believe the colors are fair game but the use of the name and logo require permission. You can and people do write the NFL for permission to use the name and logos in self generated design. However, if you want to use the name and/or logo, buy an official licensed product with that name and/or logo. If you want to have a huge Seahawk emblem on a wall just buy the Hawk flag and mount it to the wall. If you buy the product through the NFL or an official licensed vendor your good to go. But if you want to paint it on yourself you need permission. Sports Bars have done this for years.
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  • My company has Seahawks green and blue. No one has called me out yet. I didn't use anything like the hawk logo so I thing I'm fine. Colors are colors.
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    425HawkSpark
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  • You should look into it - change the colors and then pack the place full of Seahawks stuff you may get yourself into more of an issue than if you just went with the colors......... You are creating the association to the team with the gear
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    mikeak
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  • As long as your business has nothing to do with NFL-related interests (selling of apparel, tickets, ect), you'll have nothing to worry about. Go crazy.
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    RockHawk
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  • My firm designed an ad for Butch blum. It featured Doug Baldwin. We had a question about using Seahawks colors and font. On the .com website there is a number for business related matters. They told us there was no official font and helped us get the colors right though they had no interest in the venture. Very friendly and helpful.
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    Atradees
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  • You should add a PNW flavor, like the icons from Totem Poles and the tatoos that Robert Gallery had on his arm. If you don't mind my asking, what kind of products do you sell?

    Edit: I'm sure you could get a lot of cool suggestions theme-wise from posters on this board.
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    ivotuk
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  • THere's certainly nothing wrong with colors. If you named your company the Sea-Birds and had a similar logo AND the same colors, it might be an issue.

    Actually saw a cement truck the other day with a GIGANTIC Seahawks logo emblazoned on it...I don't know if that company had a deal or what with the Seahawks, but it was pretty sweet.
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  • HoustonHawk82 wrote:Correct me, but I believe colors are fair game, it's when you copy styles, proper names, and logos, there is a problem.

    When you look at how people successfully "copy" someone else's scheme, they purposely misspell proper names and add (or remove) key styling points that make the first glance capture the similarity, but under scrutiny the differences can be seen. Like "Korn Flaykes" for example.

    There are ways to do it. Consult your attorney.

    Remember "McDowells" in that movie Coming To America?


    I loved their "Big Mc"...Sigh, I miss the Golden Arch. Good luck with the new venture Sprfunk!!
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    NJSeaHawk
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  • Using the colors shouldn't be a big deal, they sell team color paint at the store, and displaying merchandise shouldn't be an issue. As long as you're not reproducing any logos or imagery I can't think of any issues. I have tons of hawk stuff around my desk at work, it wouldn't technically be any different to display merchandise anywhere else.

    What your issue might be is the associating you're implying, it's sort of a grey area in copyright law and while the NFL may have guidelines, it's going to come down to infringement based on the likelyhood that you're implying some sort of relationship between your company and the team.

    So what you need to ask yourself is:

    could the NFL/Seahawks possibly be harmed by being associated with my company?

    could my company possibly financially benefit from an implied relationship with the team/NFL?

    Unless the NFL can somehow prove that either of these cases are significantly true, the worst thing that will happen is that you'll get a request to change things. Even that is a long shot though.

    Just make sure that any other branding of your company, outside of the colors, can't possibly be Seahawks related and you should be fine. If you're talking about a restaurant or bar just make sure that the name and any marketing is not likely to imply any association or partnership with the team.
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    Hawknballs
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  • Colors are fair game. Selling merch that uses the likeness - no matter how ambiguous - of an NFL team is the no no.

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    The NET Alumni will get that.
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    Aros
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  • Aros wrote:
    The NET Alumni will get that.


    I'm sorry, who are you again?
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    RockHawk
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  • one of our rival football teams in high school were teh _______ Raiders
    they wore exactly the same uniform as Oaklands and even had the little pirate on the helmet.

    So yeah it should be possible
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    Axx
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  • HoustonHawk82 wrote:Remember "McDowells" in that movie Coming To America?



    :0190l:
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    KitsapHawk
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  • First of CONGRATS
    you just went from employee to BOSS, thats some American dream stuff right there buddy.

    Secondly, yes colors are fair game and sometimes even fonts are fair game.
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