Money rules everything

January 28, 2010

NFL cracks down on “Who Dat” merchandise

Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on January 28, 2010 2:54 PM ETIt’s one of life’s great unanswered questions: Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?

We do know, however, who the NFL say can’t make any more Who dat t-shirts.

WWLTV reports that many businesses in New Orleans have received cease and desist order for printing and selling Who dat shirts.

“I really thought the ‘Who Dat’ was something that belonged to the people more than to the Saints or to the NFL or anything else,” said one shop owner Josh Harvey.

NFL spokesman Dan Masonson disagrees:  “Any unauthorized use of the Saints colors and other [marks] designed to create the illusion of an affiliation with the Saints is equally a violation of the Saints trademark rights because it allows a third party to ‘free ride’ by profiting from confusion of the team’s fans, who want to show support for the Saints.”

A nearby Loyola professor believes there is some legal gray area here, but the small shops are wary of taking on the league.