PHILADELPHIA—Following increasing complaints by players, teams and the National Football League itself regarding the use by the Exxotica Expo in an ad promoting the recent Miami event of allegedly unauthorized images of players likenesses and team uniforms and helmets, the NFL today sent a cease-and-desist letter to Victory Tradeshow Management, the owner/manager of the adult trade show.
"We recently learned of your unauthorized use of the NFL Trademarks in connection with the promotion of your event, entitled "EXXXOTICA," which previously took place in Miami, Florida, on May 20, 2011, and is set to take place in Chicago, Illinois, on July 8-10, 2011," the C&D reads. "Specifically, we object to your use of the NFL Trademarks, in particular your use of images of NFL players in their uniforms and helmets, which are registered NFL Trademarks in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, in connection with your promotion and marketing of your event."
The offending Exxxotica ad featured Oakland Raiders wide receiver Jacoby Ford, Kansas City Chiefs defensive backs Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry, Chicago Bears safety Major Wright, and Houston Texans defensive back Kareem Jackson.
Sent by NFL assistant counsel Sarah Crutcher, the letter seeks the cessation of all inappropriate use of the NFL trademarks. "Specifically," she writes, "we request that you a) remove all NFL Trademarks from your promotional and marketing materials; b) pull any related promotional and marketing materials; and c) cease using the NFL Trademarks in all future promotional and marketing materials."
A reply is demanded in writing by June 23, 2011.
In a statement issued by Victory Tradeshow Management at the same time the company issued the C7D to the media, Victory says, "We, Victory Tradeshow Management and the EXXXOTICA Expo, are in receipt of a cease and desist letter from the National Football League's Legal Council. We are currently looking into the NFL's accusations and take their concerns very seriously. We are talking with our corporate council, Fattorosi & Associates, and we will be making a formal response both publicly as well as to the NFL on Monday."
The NFL C&D can be read here.