Football and the USPTO

As football season approaches, I was reminded of a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision of 2013 involving the University of Alabama, Bear Bryant’s son, and Houndstooth Mafia Enterprises. Houndstooth Mafia sought to have the mark shown below officially trademark. Alabama and Bear Bryant’s son opposed the petition on the basis that they extensively use the houndstooth pattern in their marks and particularly in promoting Bear Bryant’s legacy. The TTAB sided with the company, and found, among other things that Bear Bryant never used the houndstooth pattern as a trademark. Until now, last year was the last time I thought about “Houndstooth Mafia”. After running a search recently (and expecting to find houndstooth mafia merchandise), I was surprise to find that Alabama filed a suit in federal court in Birmingham to try to reverse the TTAB decision. Apparently the parties have settled the matter and Alabama now holds all rights to the Houndstooth Mafia mark. Here is an article about the settlement. I am sure there are many disappointed Alabama fans that were hoping to become part of the exclusive houndstooth mafia this football season. Are there any enterprising individuals out there willing to create the Orange Pants Mafia for Derek Dooley?