New Yorkers, and football fans nationwide, may be thrilled that the 2020-2021 NFL season is here at last. Yet along with the party snacks, novelty foam fingers, and occasional beer or two, some football fans may have a “Terrible Towel” to waive during the game. They may be interested to hear, then, that a lawsuit regarding the Terrible Towel trademark was recently settled by both parties.
The Terrible Towel trademark infringement claim
The issue began with the company Time In Apparel that was using the phrase “The Terrible Mask” to market face coverings. The face coverings were sold online, using the same font that is used on the Eamon Foundation’s Terrible Towels. That font was created over four decades ago.
The Eamon Foundation filed a federal trademark infringement claim against Time In Apparel back in August. A cease-and-desist letter was sent, but the defendant claimed he was given permission to use the trademark. However, the defendant could not provide written documentation proving permission was given. The plaintiffs denied giving such permission.
The terms of the Terrible Towel settlement
The case was ultimately settled. The defendant entered into a consent decree and will not make or sell any products with the Terrible Marks. In addition, these marks cannot be used in advertisements by the defendant and products with the marks must be recalled. The defendant must withdraw his application to trademark the name “The Terrible Mask” and cannot register any domain names that contain the word “Terrible.”
Settling trademark infringement claims
This case serves as a good example of how litigation can be settled in a way that favors the plaintiff and allows the defendant to prevent the potentially harsher penalties a loss in the courtroom could lead to. Trademarks can protect your ideas, so if one is being infringed upon, it is important to learn more about your legal options moving forward.