Fear the Deer, the NBA and the law
By Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel
Nov. 12, 2010 |(6) Comments
The catchphrase "Fear the Deer," has been hugely popular for the Milwaukee Bucks and its fans since it emerged last season.
The slogan is thought to have originated with ESPN's Scott Van Pelt on a SportsCenter broadcast, but other versions of how it came to be have surfaced. In any event, the phrase has become a hashtag on Twitter, gets mentioned often on Facebook and generally is the go-to rallying cry for Bucks fans.
The NBA and the Milwaukee Bucks have taken notice, too. Late last season, the NBA, at the request of the Bucks, filed for trademark rights with the U.S. Patent Office. This is routine, according to Mike Bass, senior vice president for marketing and communications at the NBA. Other teams have made similar requests.
That application is pending, Bass said.
Having taken that step, Bass said no one can use the phrase for commercial purposes without the permission of the Bucks and the NBA. If they did, it would be infringing on trademark rights, he said.