23 February 2016Trademarks

Indianapolis Colts settles ‘12th man’ trademark dispute

National Football League (NFL) team the Indianapolis Colts has agreed to end its use of the term ‘12th man’ after reaching a settlement with Texas A&M University.

The university owns three US registered trademarks for the ‘12th man’, used in connection with sporting merchandise.

In November last year, the university sued the NFL team claiming its unauthorised use of the term in connection with promoting tickets to its games was infringing its trademarks.

The lawsuit was filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of Houston.

Earlier that year, the NFL team urged fans to “join the 12th man” and buy tickets for the upcoming sporting season, the complaint said.

But on Wednesday, February 17, both parties agreed to settle the dispute.

In exchange for the university dropping the suit, the NFL team has agreed to remove any mention of the ‘12th man’ from its marketing material immediately.

It has until August 15 to remove a display that uses the term from its home ground, the Lucas Oil Stadium.

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

13 November 2015   Texas A&M University has sued the National Football League team the Indianapolis Colts for using the term ‘12th man’ to promote merchandise.