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Texas A&M, website founder butt heads over 12th Man trademark - The Eagle: Local News

Texas A&M, website founder butt heads over 12th Man trademark

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Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2014 12:00 am

Four Buffalo Bills fans working to keep their beloved football team in their hometown through an online petition on 12thManThunder.com fear Texas A&M University could file a lawsuit against them in the coming days.

The dispute stems from the group's use of the term "12th Man," which is a Texas A&M registered trademark.

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50 comments:

  • My Observation posted at 7:38 pm on Sun, Jul 13, 2014.

    My Observation Posts: 640

    It's funny how anything that has to do with football brings out the angry faculty trolls. Their blood is boiling with their venom spewing. I'm glad we have a great football team and the faculty will live a short life with their inner anger and seething rage.

     
  • My Observation posted at 7:13 pm on Sun, Jul 13, 2014.

    My Observation Posts: 640

    So you have two profiles Texas Eagle 1 and 2?

     
  • myopic perspiration posted at 11:53 am on Fri, Jul 4, 2014.

    myopic perspiration Posts: 146

    The city is actually on the upswing. They just don't care about the Bills.

     
  • myopic perspiration posted at 7:31 am on Fri, Jul 4, 2014.

    myopic perspiration Posts: 146

    Sabio will be along soon to inform you that Hwy 6 runs both ways.

     
  • rj posted at 10:38 pm on Thu, Jul 3, 2014.

    rj Posts: 177

    How about me? I'm a 58-year-old native Texan with two degrees from the big school who agrees with Michael. I've run businesses in this area for 35 years. From your comment history, you are apparently a suck-up to any corporate schmoe or TAMU administrator who will deign to let you lick their boots. You also pollute these boards with your constant bragging about how Texas and A&M are so wonderful and "proving" it by yapping about how people are moving from other states to come here. So, which is it? Are people supposed to come here or are they carpetbaggers?

    Y'all are constant embarrassments to my employees who have to explain your attitudes to out-of-state clients.

     
  • rj posted at 10:27 pm on Thu, Jul 3, 2014.

    rj Posts: 177

    You would be well served to take your own advice if you are one of the folks who spends thousands of dollars yearly to watch substandard football games because of some weirdly misplaced tribal feeling that binds you to people who don't care about you.

    It's the same as Double-A baseball -- get a life.

     
  • obasfirst posted at 4:08 pm on Thu, Jul 3, 2014.

    obasfirst Posts: 668

    We all know where you pull your information from, but maybe you should check out wikipedia. It actually has lots of references (I know you don't like those).

     
  • Sabio posted at 3:38 pm on Thu, Jul 3, 2014.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    We don't care for carpetbaggers down here, particularly those from New York. Go away Michael.

     
  • Sabio posted at 3:37 pm on Thu, Jul 3, 2014.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    Really? Football was played before 1845? Guess you got that from Wikipedia, huh?

     
  • Sabio posted at 3:35 pm on Thu, Jul 3, 2014.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    We don't care for carpetbaggers around here.....go back home Michael.

     
  • aggieAPG posted at 8:35 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    aggieAPG Posts: 22

    Oh yeah and the Bills are gone! The city is dying and can't support it like they used to... This guy is just upset about reality. He needs to get over it and get a real hobby then maybe I would feel sorry for him.

     
  • aggieAPG posted at 8:29 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    aggieAPG Posts: 22

    If this guy used instead BuffaloBillsThunder.com, he would have been forced to change that as well. This guy is just ignorant. Another article I read says he lives off I the government... fair to say he didnt consider property rights. Tamu sent a letter, the domain and website have been changed. There will be no lawsuit. Case closed trolls.

     
  • because posted at 8:27 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    because Posts: 357

    dnealtamu: I did not claim that it is a joke for Aggies. But I am claiming it is a joke to everybody else, at least for people who know a bit about the history of sports. So please don't make us look more ridiculous (I am also pat of A&M)

    Football (the real football game) was played before Texas was even part of the US, with eleven players, and, naturally, their supporters were called the 12th man. That it is all what I am claiming.

     
  • JMO posted at 6:53 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    JMO Posts: 348

    The ignorance shown in too many of these comments is ridiculous, not to mention the fact that people comment before reading the article in its entirety.

     
  • JMO posted at 6:48 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    JMO Posts: 348

    I guarantee you that the university has someone responsible for scouring the Internet and monitoring other sources to make sure that no one us using its trademarks without permission. How do you think they found out about this instance?
    Anyone who wants to maintain their trademarks must guard them zealously or lose them. It's a legal requirement.
    Also, A&M's deal with the Seahawks was not "exposed." It was just in the news.

     
  • JMO posted at 6:40 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    JMO Posts: 348

    Please, grow up.

     
  • obasfirst posted at 6:25 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    obasfirst Posts: 668

    maybe you should learn to read.

    I was responding to dnealtamu who mentioned the "story of the Texas A&M 12th Man."

    I guess now you will tell that Wikipedia is incorrect in this case and A&M was the source of the first recorded occurrence of the term.

    The whole Wikipedia comment is a fallacy btw.

     
  • obasfirst posted at 5:57 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    obasfirst Posts: 668

    since the goal of the site is to try to keep the Bills in Buffalo it is very temporary. Either the Bills leave or they stay, a decision will be made in the near future. After that, the site has no use.

    Failure to protect MIGHT be grounds for invalidation; very different. Besides, we are talking about years here. If you think A&M can loose its trademark licence because of a guy with a website for non commercial purposes, you are out of your mind.


     
  • obasfirst posted at 5:34 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    obasfirst Posts: 668

    You cannot read:

    " against eroded distinctiveness owing to the presence in the MARKETPLACE of confusingly similar third-party marks"

    "using the same or a similar trademark in COMMERCE in connection with goods and/or services similar to the trademark "

    "While some COURTS have determined that trademark owners need NOT necessarily prosecute EVERY infringing third-party use of the mark"


    This guy has a website to collect signatures to keep the Buffalo Bills there. He is not making money from the site, it's only temporary, and nobody in his right mind will think A&M is affiliated with this.

     
  • MichaelD99 posted at 5:21 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    MichaelD99 Posts: 1

    Stay proud Aggies, picking on some poor guy in Buffalo who simply, but ignorantly used a "trademarked" term which should be untrademarked due to it's common usage. He wasn't making any money on it.

    Instead of worry about how to grub more money from people, you should be spending time looking at the rape crisis you have on campus and at the frat houses. I hope the President strips you of your trademark, like he did the Redskins.

     
  • Givemeabreak posted at 5:16 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Givemeabreak Posts: 19

    I know some of you are going to have a hay day with this but didn't A&M give the Seattle Seahawks permission to use the 12th Man? There was an article in this paper explaining the agreement. It was settled for only $5,000. I know it was exposed & it is truly outrageous. How could they let the Seahawks use the 12th Man & then try to control their local vendors that want to copy it? Those of you that post daily in the paper should remember the information that came out around the end of last year. How are they monitoring who's using it in Seattle, does A&M have people there looking?

    Before you decide to take the time to attack me, I am NOT against the 12th Man tradition I think it's the oldest & finest tradition A&M has.

     
  • Sabio posted at 4:20 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    Cut it off for some reason. The link obasfirst cites says EXPLICITLY that if you don't effectively police the trademark you can lose it, the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what he says above.

    Mercy.

     
  • Sabio posted at 4:18 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    Hey obasfirst, did you even READ that page? Here's one of the ways you can lose the trademark:

    "Failure to police:
    Trademark rights may also be lost when a trademark owner fails to effectively police its trademark against eroded distinctiveness owing to the presence in the marketplace of confusingly similar third-party marks. For example, if many third parties subsequently begin using the same or a similar trademark in commerce in connection with goods and/or services similar to the trademark owner’s after the trademark owner has already begun use, and the owner does little or nothing to police its trademark, the trademark is likely to lose some or all of its value as a source identifier in the marketplace. As a result, the trademark will become weaker, and in some cases it may lose its distinctiveness entirely. To help avoid such adverse consequences, the trademark owner may police its mark by enforcing its trademark rights through various legal means, such as (a) sending demand letters, (b) proceeding with opposition and cancellation proceedings with administrative entities, (c) proceeding with litigation in the courts, and/or (d) entering into licensing and/or other agreements with third parties, as may be appropriate under the circumstances. While some courts have determined that trademark owners need not necessarily prosecute every infringing third-party use of the mark, such third-party uses can still affect the distinctiveness of the mark in the minds of the public. The optimal policing and enforcement efforts for particular marks may vary with the particular circumstances involved, such as the nature and importance of the mark, the nature of the trademark owner and the size of its legal budget, and the number and nature of the potential third-party trademark infringements. "

     
  • Sabio posted at 4:14 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    If you live here, you make money off of A&M. Economic reality.

     
  • Sabio posted at 4:13 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    No, that's not a red herring. It's a legal fact. It wasn't temporary, if it were, he'd have brought it down immediately.

    Failure to protect a trademark is grounds to invalidate it. You know NOTHING about trademark law.

     
  • Sabio posted at 4:11 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    There's a HUGE difference between "trademark" (the issue here) and creation (which is irrelevant).

    That aside, I have to laugh at the use of "wikipedia" as an authoritative source. That an academic would use that as source material speaks volumes about their academic integrity, or lack thereof.

     
  • Sabio posted at 4:08 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    I rest my case.

     
  • Sabio posted at 4:08 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    I rest my case.

     
  • obasfirst posted at 3:40 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    obasfirst Posts: 668

    That's not even true:

    Just check "Failure to Police" section at

    http://www.inta.org/TrademarkBasics/FactSheets/Pages/LossofTrademarkRightsFactSheet.aspx

     
  • obasfirst posted at 3:19 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    obasfirst Posts: 668

    "A&M has to defend it or lose it as a trademark"

    That's a red herring (and you are just repeating A&M spokespersons)

    We are talking about a guy with a small (temporary) website. Just like the guy in Seattle who wanted to sell beer during the Superbowl). Failure to police does not really apply to these cases. 12th man lawyers are just being bullies here.

    http://www.inta.org/TrademarkBasics/FactSheets/Pages/LossofTrademarkRightsFactSheet.aspx

    I wonder how much 12th man is paying A&M for the use of their lawyers.

     
  • davidhouse posted at 2:56 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    davidhouse Posts: 21

    [offtopic] who mentioned making money off TAMU ?? TAMU administration is bashing themselves by pushing this item. Yelling someone is bashing us in this blog speaks to character.

     
  • obasfirst posted at 2:30 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    obasfirst Posts: 668

    let me do the research for you:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12th_man_(football)
    The first recorded use of the term "twelfth man" was a magazine published by the University of Minnesota in September, 1900, that referred to "the mysterious influence of the 12th man on the team.

    A&M first reference was 22 years later.

     
  • obasfirst posted at 2:29 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    obasfirst Posts: 668

    I thought A&M athletics was complete separate from A&M academics (as you have said ad nauseam). Where is the hypocrisy in that case?


    Any examples of A&M bashing comments here?

    FYI; A&M did NOT invent the term 12th man
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12th_man_(football)

    This year's subsidy to athletics was very small btw, only $590,973 (compared to the $5.2 million last year)

     
  • TexasEagle posted at 12:55 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    TexasEagle Posts: 139

    So, people who disagree with you have no right to express themselves....only you have that right?

     
  • TexasEagle posted at 12:55 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    TexasEagle Posts: 139

    I do not work for A&M, never went to school there...have little affiliation...not clear what you are talking about. But, like you, I reserve the right to speak up on any issue I wish....just following your lead.

     
  • dnealtamu posted at 12:03 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    dnealtamu Posts: 14

    There will be trolls on every website whose sole intent is to say derogatory things about a post or article. I just ignore them.

     
  • dnealtamu posted at 12:01 pm on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    dnealtamu Posts: 14

    Agree with you.

     
  • dnealtamu posted at 11:58 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    dnealtamu Posts: 14

    You may consider it a joke but to the Aggies it is not. Texas A&M is a school whose roots go back to 1876, a school steeped in tradition and military tradition. Go to the Texas A&M website or just do an internet search to see the story of the Texas A&M 12th Man. More importantly, the 12th Man is not about just football. It is about Aggies standing united as leaders in service to others.

     
  • Sabio posted at 11:26 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    The anti-A&M crowd has chimed in. I have to wonder how hypocritical it is of this group to continue to make money from A&M while constantly bashing them? It truly speaks to their character, or lack thereof.

     
  • Sabio posted at 11:24 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    Learn to read. A&M has not filed suit. The story is clear on that.

    How do you know that A&M hasn't sent cease and desist letters to those high schools?

    A&M has to defend it or lose it as a trademark. It's worth a TON to us.

     
  • Sabio posted at 11:22 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Sabio Posts: 1734

    A&M has a bad rep in Seattle? That's news to me. And to those in Seattle. They LOVE the arrangement. They pay us to use the name, and they have exclusive use of in within the NFL.

    As disgruntled as you are with A&M, why are you still here?

     
  • because posted at 11:21 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    because Posts: 357

    Long before I even knew of the existence of A&M, I heard commentators of the "real Football Game" (in the US they call it also Soccer) referring to the spectators as the "twelfth man" of a team. That seems natural, and copyrighting such an expression is a joke!

     
  • dnealtamu posted at 10:47 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    dnealtamu Posts: 14

    It is unfortunate that the man using the site is an amputee, but to assume that A&M is bullying him is ridiculous. The school has every right to protect their registered trademark and brand. ANY business would do the same and they have the right to do so.
    A trademark is defined as "any sign capable of being represented graphically and distinguishing the goods of one person from those of another…" - Too many assume that just because a company name or domain name is available it can be used. Building a brand and trademark takes a lot of time, effort, and money and brings incredible value to companies and corporations - anyone in business should know this. A&M has the statutory right to protection of that name throughout the whole country regardless of the situation.

     
  • michaelrcaputo posted at 10:39 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    michaelrcaputo Posts: 2

    Many high schools in the United States incorporate 12th Man language into their booster clubs, including the Altaloma Braves, Dana Hills Dolphins, Seneca Golden Eagles, Washington Panthers, Richwood Knights, Diamond Bar Brahmas, Fairfield Falcons, Brentwood Bruins, and more.

    Legally, Texas A&M could have moved on any of these groups or dozens more. Instead, on Monday, the University filed suit against a double amputee cancer survivor 1,500 miles away from College Station.

    Stay classy, Aggies.

     
  • TexasEagle2 posted at 9:32 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    TexasEagle2 Posts: 805

    Who wins in all of this....the lawyers....A&M already has a bad rep in Seattle, trying to add Buffalo. How about the military community? picking on a double amputee...yes, I understand the "necessity" of defending the brand...but, how can we handle this in a better way. In the story the "perp" comes across as sympathetic, A&M comes across as bullies...the 12th man idea is already a joke since we continue to charge even our own fans more and more to be the 12th man at our games...but, that is another story. Bully good for you A&M athletics...Jason Cook's marketing plan at work.

     
  • Zippy posted at 9:29 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Zippy Posts: 136

    A&M did not coin the expression 12th man....they just claimed it as their own. Another aggie joke, this.

     
  • davidhouse posted at 8:49 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    davidhouse Posts: 21

    Why not give this man a little more time and understanding? I don't think he is damaging TAMU. OR we could take the nuclear lawyer approach and puff out or chest and say how dare he do that to us. He probably didn't even know of the TAMU 12th man. Changing a web site takes time. Where is our compassion for an innocent mistake. WE are making ourselves look good in this situation.[sad]

     
  • Omega6464 posted at 8:32 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    Omega6464 Posts: 23

    I have a sneaking feeling the folks at A&M had no idea of the physical condition of the individual violating their copyright. Regardless, SDW is correct. The only way to protect the brand is to defend A&M's ownership vigorously.

     
  • SDW posted at 7:19 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    SDW Posts: 329

    If they (A&M) do not go after EVERY unauthorized user of that term (that they know of) they will lose the ownership of that term. The guy knows the rules now...so play by them. It has nothing to do with how many limbs he has.

     
  • michaelrcaputo posted at 6:39 am on Wed, Jul 2, 2014.

    michaelrcaputo Posts: 2

    Threatening a double amputee cancer survivor. Stay classy, TAMU. Stay classy.

     

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