COLLEGE STATION - Texas A&M University and all parties comprising the Bills fan group have reached an amicable settlement regarding the use of the trademark. While the group initially used the phrase in their name, they no longer infringe and all domain names and social media accounts will revert to Texas A&M as part of the agreement.
“We appreciate the passion Bills Fan Thunder brings to their work to maintain an NFL Franchise in Buffalo,” said Shane Hinckley, Interim VP of Marketing & Communications at Texas A&M University.
Bills Fan Thunder, a grassroots Buffalo Bills fan group created in June, inadvertently infringed the university’s long-held trademark of ‘12th Man’ – a phrase that embodies the fan enthusiasm that fuels Aggie sports.
“We’re really pleased with the way the university handled the dispute and we fully recognize Texas A&M is the owner of the ‘12th Man’ trademark. We’ve already started operations under Bills Fan Thunder and will continue ourfight to keep the Bills franchise in Buffalo,” said Charles “Chuckie” Sonntag, who co-founded the fan group.
“As many realize, trademarks are extremely valuable and trademark law and enforcement can be very complicated,” Hinckley said. “We have strived to create a ‘win-win’agreement from day one in this case and we are proud to say our teams have been diligent and reached an expeditious and amicable solution.”