â†µGet your printing presses warmed up down in N'awlins, because the NFL has backed off on its claim that the league owns the rights to "Who Dat" and the fleur-de-lis. â†µâ†µ
â†µThis fight wasn't just between the NFL and faithful Saints fans. No, this fight involved the Democratic State Central Committee, who publicly called on Governor Bobby Jindal, a Republican, to ask State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, a Democrat, to file a lawsuit protecting use of the name. This is bipartisan politics at work! â†µ
â†µCaldwell didn't have to sue the NFL because, per reports last night, his staff spent an hour on a conference call with the league's lawyers discussing their trademark claims. â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥Caldwell said the bottom line from the legal back-and-forth with the league is that the NFL "is conceding it has no exclusive rights to the fleur-de-lis and no exclusive rights to 'Who Dat' and offshoots of 'Who Dat,' and no exclusive rights to the colors black and gold." â†µâ‡¥â†µThe fact of the matter is, the fleur-de-lis is used in conjunction with more than just the Saints, so it'd be difficult for the league to sanction people from using that image. Now, combining that image with "Who Dat," or using it in gold and black, could create an issue in the league's eye. But, per a statement to the AP, the NFL only plans to crack down on those using official trademarks of the NFL or the Saints. â†µ
â†µâ‡¥Caldwell said his office was drafting a document to be signed by the state and the NFL by Tuesday outlining what is and is not allowable. â†µâ‡¥â†µ
â†µâ‡¥"People can use Who Dat all they want if it doesn't include NFL and Saints trademarks," said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, in an e-mail. "We explained that we would contact merchants only if a Who Dat item also contained NFL or Saints trademarks or if it is falsely claimed that an unauthorized item is affiliated with the Saints or NFL." â†µâ†µIn related news, there is no truth to the rumor that the NFL plans to sue any New Orleans churches that pray to, or in any way use the term 'Saints' on Super Bowl Sunday. Well, as long as it doesn't appear on a screen bigger than 55 inches.â†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.