This little gem arrived yesterday, basically an email promotion for this weekend, featuring Randy Moss and celebrating his return to the Minnesota Vikings:

Of course, I’m thrilled too, that Randy Moss has returned to play ball in Minnesota, but that doesn’t mean we forget all about his legal rights (name, image, likeness, right of publicity, to name a few), not to mention the legal rights, trademarks, and trade dress of the Minnesota Vikings and the NFL.

By the way, the purported disclaimer at the bottom of the promotion saying: "All registered trademarks are the properties of their respective owners" doesn’t help either.  Putting aside the unanswered question about any unregistered trademarks shown in the promotion, all this statement reveals is that Lions Tap knows it doesn’t own what it is using, and it begs the question of whether the necessary permission was obtained from the necessary owners.

To the extent my assumption is correct, that Lions Tap didn’t obtain the necessary license and permission to run the above promotion, it appears Lions Tap may have forgotten all the intellectual property law it sought to teach McDonalds earlier this year when it filed a suit for trademark infringement over the Who’s Your Patty tagline . . . . 

Do you think that Lions Tap obtained the necessary permission to run this promotion?

  • Diana B

    Hi Steve-
    You were a guest speaker in my MBA-level Brand Management class and I’ve been following your blog ever since. It was interesting to read your and your colleagues’ take on the Michelle Bachman/Minnesota State Fair debacle, but in relation to your point above, I’m curious about the rules on name, image, likeness, right of publicity for political candidates. Is it just a matter of the political game so everyone ignores the rules (i.e. I want to use my opponents likeness so I’ll let him or her use mine)? Or would a candidate have legitimate legal recourse against an apposing candidate for using their name and picture? Maybe you can answer in a future blog post!