Skip to content

Misused Sports Logo Raises Legal Question Over Marks

The Detroit Red Wings organization found itself in the political spotlight recently— in a very unwelcome way — when a slightly altered version of its winged motorcycle wheel logo was used on shields carried by marchers during the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in August. Both the team and the NHL quickly released statements disavowing any connection to the event and condemning the misuse of their logo and said they were exploring legal options to protect their intellectual property.

This article explores the ways sports teams and leagues have been on the defensive to protect their brands in recent years, including through The Trademark Dilution Act to determine if a mark is considered famous enough to merit protection.