12th Man Dispute Ends with Agreement

It was the talk of Central Texas and the northwest back in January: the Seattle Seahawks vs. Texas A&M. Monday, that off-field battle over the 12th Man trademark came to an end with an agreement between the two sides.

A&M officials have been working diligently for the last three months to avoid a June 16 court date with the NFC champions. Monday afternoon, that diligence paid off with the agreement granting the Seahawks limited use of the 12th Man trademark.

The issue came to the public forefront during the Seahawks' run to the Super Bowl back in January, although A&M had spent the previous few months telling the team to stop using their trademark. Now, the NFL franchise can use the 12th Man moniker in a seven-state area where their games are primarily broadcast.

The Hawks will also pay a yet-undisclosed license fee to the university, and will be required to publicly state that A&M owns the trademark to 12th Man each time it is used. The agreement dismisses the pending lawsuit, and neither side admits liability or fault as a result.

Even with this result, which A&M is very pleased about, the university would not comment on camera, and only released a one-paragraph joint statement with Seattle to the media.

The following is part of a memo to students, faculty and staff, in which Chief Marketing Officer Steven Moore writes, "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 12th Man trademark, but have strengthened it for the future to ensure that others cannot successfully challenge us," Moore continued.

Moore also writes that the university will begin what he called unprecedented focus on the 12th Man starting in the fall that will make it clear that A&M is the home of the 12th Man.


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