HOUSTON – The merchandising and licensing arm of the NFL and the competing ball clubs in Super Bowl LI have scored a major victory in their efforts to quash trademark infringement ahead of the big game, according to recent Harris County District Court records.
On Jan. 24, State District Court Judge Jeff Shadwick granted a request for a temporary restraining order filed by NFL Properties LLC, the Atlanta Falcons, and the New England Patriots.
NFL Properties, the Falcons, and the Patriots initiated legal action on fears they “will suffer immediate, continuous, and irreparable injury, loss, and damage” if unauthorized sales of their merchandise were made.
“This court is further of the opinion that the plaintiffs have shown that notice need not be given because vendors and manufacturers of counterfeit NFL merchandise and tickets have no business identity before or after the Super Bowl LI week and/or cannot be identified, located, or notified of the request for a temporary restraining order, an order for seizure, and a writ of sequestration, and if so notified would flee with the counterfeit merchandise and counterfeit tickets,” the 23-page order says.
“This court believes that it is in the public interest that the sale of counterfeit merchandise and counterfeit tickets to unsuspecting customers be prevented.”
Super Bowl LI between Atlanta, the National Football Conference champion, and New England, the American Football Conference champion, will be played on Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Harris County 234th District Court Case No. 2017-4658