Texas A&M Hopes Informing Broncos of Trademark Infringement is Enough

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

The 12th man is a big part of Texas A&M. Since 1922 the phrase has been a part of the tradition of A&M, something Aggies take very seriously.

So when the phrase popped up on a split second piece of video showing a parachuter with a 12th man flag on its back during the Denver Broncos playoff game, the Aggies took notice.

"I started getting a lot of email, a lot of tweets, a lot of texts saying that they'd seen the mark and what was Texas A&M going to do about it," said A&M Vice President for Marketing and Communications Jason Cook

Cook went straight to Twitter on Sunday, letting fans know A&M was ready to quote, "defend our trademark."

"The 12 man mark is important to Texas A&M. In fact we think it speaks to the DNA of who we are as an institution," said Cook.

This isn't the first time Texas A&M has had to deal with the 12th man trademark. In 2006, the Seattle Seahawks use of the phrase launched legal action which was settled out of court and allowed the Seahawks to use the phrase for a fee and with credit to A&M.

"They have a limited license to use the 12th man mark in their venue. They can't put it on t-shirts, they can't put it on things outside of their geographic region. It really is confined to their home stadium," said Cook.

For now, A&M is hoping that by letting the Denver Broncos organization know the phrase belongs to the university this occurrence will be remedied quickly but if it's not.

"Typically in a situation like this, our next step would be a cease and desist strategy. We have engaged our trademark council and working through that now," said Cook

For A&M, it's about keeping the 12th Man strong and associated with the Aggies.

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