From MLive.com: “Do the club and the league have legal recourse from preventing their intellectual property from being used in such manner? It is not cut and dry, there are gray areas.
Using the logo for political speech rather than commercial gain makes it more difficult, but there are avenues the Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey Leaguecan explore to put a stop to it, according to Max Sneyd, an attorney with the Detroit-based Kerr Russell law firm. Sneyd has 20 years of experience in the areas of intellectual property, commercial litigation and business law and leads the firm’s Intellectual Property practice group. For starters, the group, identified by media outlets as the Detroit Right Wings, did not purchase licensed merchandise.”
… Sneyd added, “It might seem to a layman that ‘Of course they can’t use my mark,’ but there are so many issues of fair use and political speech that it does get murky. In addition, courts having to wade through competing issues and balance the parties’ respective rights are not necessarily consistent all the time. Some may give more consideration to the group’s First Amendment rights, while other courts may place greater weight on protecting the rights of the trademark owner. The issue is less clear than ‘Hey, that’s my trademark, stop using it.’ “
Practice AreasIntellectual Property and Litigation