Sometimes when the league is sued, it says plenty — like it did when it initially said the Brian Flores discrimination lawsuit was “without merit.” Sometimes when the league is sued, it says nothing.
In response to the filing of a lawsuit in Las Vegas by a law firm that was threatened with litigation over a commercial using Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby in a silver and black football uniform, the NFL has opted for the latter.
In response to an inquiry from PFT, the league declined comment regarding the complaint filed earlier this week on behalf of the Dimopoulos Law Firm against the NFL over the question of whether the commercial infringes on the league’s trademarks. The lawsuit was the response to a cease-and-desist letter the league had previously sent to the Dimopoulos firm.
It’s a fairly simple case. There’s no complex evidence to present. No damages award to be determined. The law firm wants a declaration that the commercial doesn’t infringe on the logos and marks owned by the league and its teams.
The league undoubtedly will argue that the commercial creates confusion, given the similarity of the jersey and the helmet to the Raiders’ jersey and helmet. The complaint contends that the Dimopoulos firm was using silver and black as its official colors for the firm, well before the Raiders moved to Las Vegas.
Still, it’s obvious that the commercial was trying to come as close as possible to putting Crosby in a Raiders uniform without using the team logo, the NFL logo, or the Nike logo that appears on every NFL jersey. The question becomes whether that’s too close for comfort, in the eyes of the law.