NFL Opposes Registration of the "Souper Bowl" Trademark

I guess “The Big Game Soup” just doesn’t sound as good. The NFL filed its opposition to a trademark registration against a brand of soups called, SOUPER BOWL, that the NFL believes is too similar to the SUPER BOWL trademark
The first Super Bowl happened in 1967, one year prior, the NFL applied for a trademark registration for the term SUPER BOWL; such registration was granted in 1968. Since then, the NFL has registered the trademark in about every class you can imagine. A few years ago, the NFL started cracking down on advertisers and businesses using the term without permission. The thinking is that if you are using the trademark, SUPER BOWL, you must be associated with or endorsed by the NFL which most businesses are not. The NFL is both protecting the value of its mark and making a ton of money in licensing the term.
The first bowl of soup happened in ….I don’t even have a guess. But on February 1, 2015, the exact date of this year’s Superbowl, the SOUPER BOWL trademark was filed in a class covering…wait for it…soups; specifically, “drinkable soups” because saying just “soups” was not specific enough. This is an intent to use mark so the product is not yet out but the mark is owned and was registered by a Chicago attorney who I guess is looking to expand his practice. Google did not shed any light on this attorney’s ties to the soup, specifically “drinkable soup”, industry.
Last week, the NFL formally filed its opposition to the registration of the mark. SUPER BOWL and SOUPER BOWL sound exactly the same. But, if you saw the SOUPER BOWL mark on a can of yummy drinkable soup, would you think the mark and the soup are affiliated with the NFL and the SUPER BOWL trademark? This is the question that the Trademark Office must answer. The applicant can now walk away from the mark or continue this food fight with the NFL.
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