The battle for the Houston Roughnecks logos between the XFL and the NFL took an ugly turn on Wednesday, as court documents filed showed that the league has abandoned the main oil derrick logo, as well as the secondary MAN logo.
It came out after the beginning of the year that NFL Properties had moved forward with the opposition they filed when the trademarks were applied for.
The process, however, takes time. After the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officially published the marks, the NFL began its process of having them taken down.
The Tennessee Titans franchise opposed the main logo with the oil derrick, and the New England Patriots did the same with the MAN logo; both claiming that the new ones could confuse consumers into thinking they were buying NFL merchandise, but the league not gaining any revenue from the sale.
After speaking with IP attorney Josh Gerben about the documents, we have been able to confirm that these 2 logos will no longer be associated with the Houston Roughnecks. The language in the filing, “Applicants expressly abandon Application […] with prejudice,” prohibits them from moving forward.
Gerben says with that type of wording, not only would it be impossible for the XFL to move forward with those applications, but they wouldn’t be able to re-file in the future with the same logos.
This has nothing to do with the team’s name, however. There is no reason to think that the team is changing its name. Just the graphics that were used to identify it.
It should be noted that the specific applications that have been abandoned are for use with clothing and uniforms. A separate application was filed for electronic and digital use. The oppositions have now moved on to those filings and we should see the same result.
The Houston Astros have also opposed one of the TMs filed by the XFL for the Roughnecks. “For the H” is currently in the process, and an extension was filed on 2/16/2021.
With the league in discussions with the CFL, its not yet known when we will see our teams back on the field, but when we do, the Roughnecks will have a new look.
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April 8, 2021 at 2:21 pm
The Roughnecks should come up with a new logo and enter to play in the CFL in 2021. They were the best team in the XFL.
April 8, 2021 at 2:27 pm
The main logo (oil derrick) is based on the Texas Oil Pride logo. Not the Oilers. I feel they could win the case for it.
April 9, 2021 at 1:53 am
How the NFL can abandon a city and its name and still keep rights astounds me. On top of it they use Texans as Houston’s new nickname with a new logo! So there is no Oilers in business, there is no oil rig logo used for promoting the business…yet they get to keep that icon and claim any icon that is partially like it as “their turf”.
What “intellectual” property are they defending when you leave the market? You sell t-shirts with the old logo? So what? That is the Houston Oilers, this is the Houston Roughnecks which any average consumer is not going to be confused by. Oh whoops I bought this t-shirt and I am amazingly confused by this oil rig from a team that left Houston over 25 years ago versus one that has different colors and a different look rig or platform. Isn’t the NFL team that well-known Houston Texans team with a steer for a logo, that they do promote, and is actually in business? If they fold or move does that mean any steer based logo (watch out UT!) in the city or region is some attempt to ruin the NFL name and business? How many near-icons do they get to claim as theirs considering they are very likely borrowing the current likeness of their NFL logos from the existing logos that other businesses came up with? How original are the NFL logos that they are using, and how long do they get to block an active business from ever using one that isn’t identical or using the same name?
Sounds like the law needs reviewing, instead of needing millions of dollars to find lawyers to battle it out.
April 9, 2021 at 1:45 pm
The no fun league strikes again if i was the rough necks change there uniform colors to the old oilers uniforms and were helmet with no logo on it bud adams is still screwing Houstonians after beeing gone for years hey rock this is a battle worth fighting.
April 20, 2021 at 10:38 am
NFL shut up