Season 3 Ep #2: The Shortest Yard- IP In The End Zone
American football is a sport that permeates the popular culture scene, but what intellectual property is involved between the end-zones? In this episode of the IP Goes Pop! podcast we explore the movies, toys, patents, and trademarks that have shaped the sport in modern times. From the technology built into the players’ helmets, to the glowing first-down line you see on television, intellectual property has a huge impact on the way we interface with football.
As we look ahead to the big game, join co-hosts and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joe Gushue, along with their guest, IP Watchdog President and CEO, Gene Quinn, as they break down the IP that has shaped the sport. In this episode, Michael, Joe, and Gene kick things off by discussing famous football films and their influence on the generations that grew up with them. Then the panel examines the impact of iconic football-related toys, starting with the first “soft” football and ending with modern-day video games.
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Next, this episode breaks down some of the patents relating to football equipment safety and the transmission of football broadcasts. The episode reaches the goal line with a discussion about notable trademark issues that have arisen, including the recent saga surrounding “The Washington Football Team” and the naming of the championship game itself. After listening you will have a better understanding of why there’s only one official “Cheese Wedge Hat” on the market and how IP is involved on the field, off the field, and all the way to your screen at home.
1:32 Introduction to Gene Quinn of President/CEO of IP Watchdog
4:36 Famous Football Movies
- The Longest Yard,1974
- The Longest Yard, 2005 (Adam Sandler Version)
- Any Given Sunday, 1999
- Rudy, 1993
15:20 Football Toys in Popular Culture
- “Soft” football toys
- Electric Football™ by Tudor
- Tecmo Bowl Video Game Football
- Bo Jackson, the unstoppable force of football video games
- Atari Football
21:16 The IP of Football - Patents
- US1648850A, “Football helmet”
- Classic Leather Helmet Patent, 1927
- US1684566A, “Ten-Yard line”, 1928
- US6229550B1, “Blending a graphic”
- Yellow First-Down Line, 1998
- Stan Honey, Inventor of the 1st & 10 Yellow Line First Down Marker (IP Watchdog Article)
28:31 Trademarks in Football
- The Washington Football Team (WFT)
- The Washington Football Team’s Trademark Journey: Over the Bumps and Full Speed Ahead (IP Watchdog Article)
- Green Bay Packer - Cheese Wedge Hat by Formation
- 1997 Lawsuit
- Trademark protection challenges for the term “Superbowl”
33:18 The Washington Commanders Name Announcement
39:48 Final Thoughts