Monday, May 08, 2006

Aggie 12th Man Victorious!

Whoop! The Aggies have won their trademark infringement claim against the Seattle Seahawks' use of the phrase "12th Man," which is so synonymous with Texas A&M culture.
Via The Association of Former Students:

I'm pleased to inform you that, after months of negotiations, the university has reached an amicable agreement with the Seattle Seahawks resolving the controversy regarding the use of Texas A&M's 12th Man trademark. Under the agreement, the university has granted the NFL team a license to use the 12th Man trademark in a seven-state area in the northwest that encompasses the current primary broadcast area of the Seahawks. As is the case of all licensees, the Seattle Seahawks will pay the university a licensing fee and will state publicly that Texas A&M owns the 12th Man trademark each time it is used.
It is hard for non-Aggies-and the media-to understand the depth of what the 12th Man reference and depiction-and the underlying tradition - means to Texas A&M and as a result, the university was criticized for vigorously opposing use of the trademark by the Seahawks. As you know, the 12th Man is more than a trademark, greater than football and certainly more than changing the course of a football game. The 12th Man is a call to action for Aggies. It symbolizes loyalty and our unique Aggie Spirit. It creates friendships where none existed before, heals wounds that seemed to be beyond repair and creates a common language that Aggies speak all over the world. We had no choice but to challenge the Seattle Seahawks, just as we must protect and defend in every way possible all of our trademarks - and none is more crucial than that of the 12th Man because of all it means to Aggies. We have not only protected the 12 Man trademark, but have strengthened it for the future to ensure that others cannot successfully challenge us. Now, we are in a position to license our trademark as a means of broadening our coverage and unquestioned ownership of the mark in both professional and collegiate sports. In the fall, you will see an unprecedented focus on our 12th Man trademark here at Texas A&M. Our goal is to maximize the recognition and connection to our school.
Gig 'em,
Steven B. Moore
Chief Marketing Officer & Vice President for Communications


berly02 said...

blah blah blah
A&M sold out
They didn't want to fight the real fight that they would have won but would have spent a considerable amount of time and money on.
It may sound like a good thing coming from the Chief Marketing Officer & Vice President for Communications for A&M. But remember, he gets paid to sugar coat the facts.

seahawks_fan_1 said...

Pardon me for weighing in on this a little late, but blog-scanning time isn't available to some of us on a daily basis... anyway, with all due respect to trademark law and such, A&M did the right thing here. The Seattle Seahawks have been using the "12th Man" expression since at least the early 1980s, which means Aggie faithful have had the better part of a quarter century to challenge it. Why wait until now? If it's simply because y'all didn't know about it before now, let me suggest expanding your horizons beyond the borders of the Lone Star State once in awhile. The NFL does exist outside of Dallas, after all (though whether it actually exists in Houston is highly debatable at this point). As for the argument that A&M fans just wanted to "rain on our parade" we'll let that one go -- after all, the guys in the striped shirts pretty much took care of that on Super Bowl Sunday... put another way, they were the bird, we were the freshly-washed car.