NFL Pressures Indiana Man To Give Up On Trademark

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The coaches in next month's Super Bowl are brothers. Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers face John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens. Roy Fox tried to trademark the phrases: Harbowl and Harbaugh Bowl. The NFL threatened to sue him.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. Let's turn to a rivalry between siblings. Today's Last Word In Business is Harbowl - or Harbaugh Bowl. An Indiana man tried to trademark those two phrases last year, according to ESPN.com.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Roy Fox figured the Harbaugh brothers - both NFL coaches - might someday meet in the Super Bowl. This year, it is happening. Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers face John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens, a week from Sunday.

INSKEEP: But Roy Fox will not be selling any T-shirts. According to ESPN, the NFL pressured him to abandon the trademark. The league claims Harbowl and Harbaugh Bowl could be confused for the NFL trademark's Super Bowl, and so the NFL threatened to sue.

MONTAGNE: Fox gave up the trademark and asked for a consolation prize - Indianapolis Colts season tickets, and an autographed picture of league commissioner Roger Goodell.

(LAUGHTER)

MONTAGNE: But his Hail Mary pass fell incomplete. The NFL said no again.

INSKEEP: Darn.

MONTAGNE: And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

INSKEEP: I'm Steve Inskeep.

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