Texas A&M University is filing suit against the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts for a breach regarding A&M’s “12th man” trademark rights, according to a school press release.
“Texas A&M University is the Home of the 12th Man which has brought our fan base national renown,” Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young said in the release. “We would prefer not to file lawsuits to protect our trademarks. However, when our intellectual property, especially the 12th Man mark which is so important to our students and former students, is used without our permission after repeated attempts to engage on the matter, we are left with no choice.”
The Colts used the phrase “12th man” in an advertisement for tickets earlier this season, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell. A&M’s 12th man trademark rights were forged in 1990, according to the school’s release.
Texas A&M lawsuit claims Colts have been infringing on their 12th Man trademark for 9 years, this was used this year pic.twitter.com/z8Rs62ENxm
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 12, 2015
This isn’t the first time A&M has sued an NFL team over the “12th man” slogan. The school sued the Seattle Seahawks over the use of the trademark in 2006 and eventually struck a deal that permitted limited use of the term “12th man” to be displayed around Seattle’s stadium for $5,000 a year, according to a February article from King 5 News’ Chris Daniels. The deal was renewed in 2011 and is set to expire in 2016, according to Daniels.
The 12th man tradition originated at A&M in 1922 when a fan suited up and helped the Aggies to victory over Centre College.