When it comes to intellectual property in the public eye, brands – and rightfully so – can be very protective. Some brands, such as one represented by a certain round-eared rodent mascot, are infamous for how aggressively they police and protect their images, trademarks and copyrights. It appears that LeBron James’ multimedia platform “Uninterrupted” looks to be a brand that wants to be known for its fierce approach to apparent infringement.
In a letter sent to the University of Alabama, Uninterrupted accused the school’s football program of infringing the platform’s intellectual property. The demand relates to a series that James produces and airs on Uninterrupted called “The Shop.” In the program, James sits in a barbershop and talks with guests, usually other sports luminaries, who stop in to talk sports and culture with James.
The University of Alabama’s football program recently launched an online series called “Shop Talk,” which features prominent Alabama alumni and others in a round-table discussion with coach Nick Saban. Guests and the hosts talk about sports and other matters of interest. Like “The Shop,” “Shop Talk” also takes place at a barber shop. Uninterrupted thinks the similarity is a little too close.
Infringement of trademarks and copyrights is no joke. If a brand allows its mark to become diluted or fails to consistently defend its intellectual property, it is possible that they could lose protection. When a brand or an individual suspects that another is infringing their copyright or trademark, the best course of action is to consult with a seasoned intellectual property attorney. The attorney will be able to evaluate the extent of the infringement and recommend the next steps to take.
Source: Sports Illustrated, “Report: LeBron’s ‘Uninterrupted’ sends letter to Alabama over copyright infringement,” accessed Mar. 26, 2018