The NFL is considering a move that could force businesses to get rid of their trademarks and create a new, less restrictive brand.
In a letter sent Monday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that it is important for all businesses to be able to register their trademarks.
He said that the league is “exploring potential measures” to ensure that “no single entity is able to create, maintain, and enforce trademarks without proper notice and consideration.”
The letter came a day after the league issued a “Statement of Commitment” to the U.S. Copyright Office that urged the government to make sure businesses register their trademark.
In the letter, Goodell wrote that “all parties to this agreement agree that any attempt by any one entity to use an unauthorized trademark in violation of this agreement would be subject to enforcement actions and penalties consistent with applicable law.”
In a statement issued Tuesday, the NFLPA said that “there is nothing in this letter or any other letter we have received that requires us to take action.”
The NFL said that trademarks must be registered by individuals or entities who have the authority to do so, but it also noted that it can’t “grant trademark registration rights to an entity that has no authority to grant such rights.”
Goodell noted that trademarks are “uniquely important to our business and the NFL.
As a result, we have to carefully evaluate each proposed proposal.”
The league said that if it decides to go ahead with the plan, it would take effect in 2019.
The letter said the league wants the Copyright Office to work with the NFL and its members to “implement the rulemaking process to address this problem.”
The Copyright Office is currently considering several measures, including “the creation of an online trademark registration system that would allow the public to obtain the trademarks associated with a registered trademark,” the letter said.
“These proposals have been developed by the NFL, the U, and the Copyright Owners Group.
We encourage the Copyright Offices of the other organizations to join the Copyright Assigned Names and Numbers Program.”
Copyright Office Commissioner Michael Geist said in a statement that the Copyright Act “does not grant rights to trademark owners.”
“There are a number of factors, including trademark status and other relevant factors, that must be considered when determining whether to issue a trademark registration,” Geist wrote.
“We encourage the NFL to make these changes to its proposed registration system and to ensure trademark owners have full, effective and enforceable rights to register and protect their trademarks.”