This trademark dispute is for the dogs. Alfred Dunhill’s recent attempt to register a trademark for its bulldog logo has met with some opposition from the Cleveland Browns who may be ready to oppose the mark based on its Dawg Pound logo.
The Dawg Pound is the name of the bleacher section behind the east end zone at the home field of the Cleveland Browns. The Dawg Pound was created in 1985 and is known for its very “zealous” fans. At one point, the Browns banned the carrying of dog food into the stadium, as fans would shower the visiting team with dog food and bones. The Dawg Pound had the logo that was seen to the right in the below image but back in February the team announced a new logo. The new logo hasn’t been universally accepted as some people think it is a bit cartoony and not as ferocious as the old logo.
Alfred Dunhill has its own dog logo. Alfred Dunhill is a British luxury goods brand that specializing in men’s accessories such as clothes, ties and pens. Alfred Dunhill puts out several items bearing an English Bulldog including cufflinks and keychains. In May 2015, Alfred Dunhill’s propose trademark registration for the bulldog that can be seen in the left in the image below was filed in several different classes to cover many goods and even such services as nightclubs. The mark is already registered overseas but when it was filed in the United States, that’s when the Cleveland Browns came sniffing around.
The Cleveland Browns and NFL Properties filed its request for an extension of time to oppose the registration of the mark. This is the usual first step that permits the opposer the opportunity to prepare its opposition, work out a settlement with the applicant or to think about and not oppose the mark at all. In 2008, the Browns were granted a trademark registration for the original Dawg Pound logo. So the question is, if you saw Dunhill’s dog on a flask would you confuse that with the Cleveland Browns’ logo and think the item came from or was endorsed by the team? This is the question that the Trademark Office must decide if the Browns go ahead with their opposition. The Browns must file its opposition by today.  The countdown is on…