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Welcome to the website of the Internet and Intellectual Property Justice Clinic, a University of San Francisco School of Law clinical program that provides legal assistance to parties in intellectual property matters. For more information, see the "About Us" page.

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NFL marketers want 'Big Game' trademark

The National Football League is so popular, it can get away with applying Roman numerals to its championship game. It is a corporate colossus that vigilantly protects its trademarked terms, like the words "Super Bowl,'' "Super Sunday," "NFL'' and the names of teams.

Each year it sends out cease-and-desist letters to businesses and advertising firms demanding that such terms not be used for commercial purposes.

But now the NFL is pushing into Cal and Stanford territory.

The NFL wants to trademark the phrase "The Big Game."

But the Big Game also has a very specific application for Stanford University and UC Berkeley, whose annual football game dates back to 1892. It has been known as the Big Game since 1902, according to San Francisco author Ron Fimrite, who is writing a history of Cal football.

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