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Need help...bad. Law firm dedicated to ending counterfeits.


JohnnyOnTheSpot
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Guys, I need your help. If this is an inappropriate location for this, just move it wherever but I did think it out lol.

Ok, so for those who don't know, I'm an attorney licensed in PA and NJ. I'm fresh out of the school and the job market is poop. I managed to find a job as an associate...turns out my boss is literally the devil, refuses to pay anything more than minimum wage basically, and it's just a dead end. I'm quitting, and since the market is so terrible, I'm trying to start my own law practice.

Now this is where it gets interesting. Anyone on here can attest to the fact that legally, the teams are useless. They pull down less than %.1 percent of all counterfeits, and barely do anything to stop it. PLUS, when they do pull one, they're wrong half the time, as we've discussed before (Kurt you can back me here lol). I'm not saying I know the fakes as well as Mike and others, but I have a pretty extensive understanding of them, and it's sure more than the idiots doing it now.

My plan is to try and get in touch with (eventually) every team and the big wigs, but turn my head towards the Flyers at the moment, possibly other local teams. I want to convince them that I can save them money and defend their IP. I'm not concerned about the presentation, I have no clue how to get a hold of anyone. I need contacts. I've spoken with my Skate Zone manager and he knows no one unfortunately, but I'm thinking big guys at Meigray, IceJerseys, etc....I just don't know.

Am I trying to make a living doing this? Yes. But I'm also trying to actually make an impact on our hobby, I've been wanting to do this since my first year in law school. It's in shambles right now and the secondary market is a joke. If I get this big, I would have NO problem outsourcing some work to my pals on here. I just need a way to get in, and I know this idea would strike a chord with every member on here. I'm passionate about this, more so than any other jerk working on it now, and even if I don't make a dime, the opportunity to make my hobby better for everyone would be great.

So seriously, if you have ANY advice, contacts, any strings you can pull, please let me know. This could be the ultimate service to my hobby. Thanks guys. And feel free to mock me incessantly as well lol.

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Do you watch "How I Met Your Mother"? You remind me of Marshall.

That being said, if you want, email Terry from the Isles. He is the VP of Marketing, pretty high up. If you want his email, I can send it to you

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Redbeard you a playa' hata'. Jules negatory, I don't watch TV lol. And thanks a ton man, I messaged you.

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Johnny,

Sorry to hear about your setbacks at work, hang in there and I wish you the best of luck.

Although I haven't graduated or passed the bar yet I have some insight on your plan. I am in the Intellectual Property (IP) concentration at my law school, and I have spent the last few months working in an IP practice group of a large firm. Based on what I've learned there, and as I understand league licensing, I don't know if your plan will work out.

Although teams should be diligent about policing their IP, I believe their logos (team trademarks) are actually owned by the league or at least their licensing typically is. I think you would have better luck approaching the NHL's general counsel. Maybe by getting allies among teams that can be a way in. Still I feel as though the league or reebok has already begun this policing program based on the other thread here.

On another note, this market is relatively small potatoes to the teams, and I surmise the league as well. Ticket sales and tv deals are likely the two biggest sources of revenue. While merchandise may also be a valuable source of income, jerseys are a smaller subsection of that.

I am typing this on my phone, but maybe later tonight I can elaborate on this or any other questions to the best of my ability. I need to study federal tax law at some point too.

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I appreciate the input man. While I'd be lying if I said I knew who owned the right up front, the teams individually have a stake in them for sure, especially merchandising. You're absolutely right, it's not their bread and butter, but it's their side salad at least lol. They make money off of merch and counterfeiting directly hits that.

I'd love to get in touch with the NHL's general counsel, but I know they wouldn't even give me the time of day, plus I have zero access. I'm going to try and work my way in.

As for their IP protection, they have started and they do a horrific job. They simply do not know the product like I do and are completely inefficient. If I get one team to believe in me it could take off.

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I think branching out on your own is a good idea buddy. It's going to have its headaches, i know from personal experience running my own company as you know, but in the end it will make you happier. As far as your idea, I think its a good one. Maybe try contacting Adidas counsel, once again those assclowns took down a legitimate jersey of mine. They seem to protect their Reebok name more heavily than individual teams protecting their IP. I think you could have something here, maybe try contacting Nike and see what you could do for them. Counterfeit football jerseys flood every corner and crevice at flea markets and ebay and other chinese websites are full of them. Maybe you could get the ball rolling with something like that, learn a little more about that world. Get your foot in the door so to speak.

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I would love nothing more than to contact those companies' counsel, however, I'm avoiding them for a multitude of reasons. For one, none of those big shot law firms would give me the time of day, nor would a grand company. I have a much better shot getting in with a team, due to their size. Second, you ever try telling a firm they're doing a bad job? Lol. Plus I have to make myself seem valuable and irreplaceable, and a law firm would write me off or just steal my idea lol.

I'm going to re-address the concept as well, since I was on my phone earlier and can't possibly give a good argument. Per the Flyers website: All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P.

Based on my research, the teams own the trademarks and license them to the NHLS (NHL Services) who grants licensing rights collectively. However, the TEAMS are the owners, and are listed as such in the above quotation. So much like the league, which is a republic, teams have individual rights they allow a general body to deal with collectively.

The Rangers lost a case to run their own website, claiming rights to their trademarks, and lost. But there is no proof that they can't own them concurrently and defend them accordingly, just that the NHL's uses trump the Rangers. It's kind of like states v. federal, federal trumps state when they conflict, but they can each do things independently.

So ANYWAY, my entire point is that there is no reason to believe that the teams individually cannot and will not defend their IP. Proof of this comes from the Canadiens, who recently issued a store credit in return for a counterfeit jersey. Teams do make money off of their merch and do have a vested interest in 1) profiting from their IP and 2) protecting it from dilution and infringement.

As for Adidas already doing this, yea they do but they are wretched at it. I will show whatever team lets me speak to this, and prove to them they need more. Teams can hire individual marketers for their brand, why not separate protection for their brand? Frankly I doubt there are more than 10 lawyers who have my knowledge about counterfeits and I'm not being facetious. I can do this better than anyone who's currently doing it, if not for my eye then for the time I can expend on it.

So I have one contact, can anyone else help me out or give me advice? I just need one team to give me a shot. I'm not even limiting myself to hockey, baseball and football need this worse than anyone.

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It's a good idea but you have some major issues to overcome.

1st you can pretty much count out the Canadian Teams since you practicing law in the U.S.

2ND The people you need to speak to are not the teams it's RBK and or Addidas, Licensing deals are made with teams but ultimately the shirts are owned by RBK not the team. Once the licensing contract is signed the teams get a % of whats sold minus fabrication and distribution fees.

3rd The real issue in counterfeits is the price point as long as jerseys are priced the way they are it is a near impossible battle to overcome.

Anyway hope i did not SHOOT on your parade , i think the idea is good but there are many variables to consider. I have some contacts with the HABS but they would be no use to you because you are in the USA.

anyway good luck hope it works out

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It's a good idea but you have some major issues to overcome.

1st you can pretty much count out the Canadian Teams since you practicing law in the U.S.

2ND The people you need to speak to are not the teams it's RBK and or Addidas, Licensing deals are made with teams but ultimately the shirts are owned by RBK not the team. Once the licensing contract is signed the teams get a % of whats sold minus fabrication and distribution fees.

3rd The real issue in counterfeits is the price point as long as jerseys are priced the way they are it is a near impossible battle to overcome.

Anyway hope i did not SHOOT on your parade , i think the idea is good but there are many variables to consider. I have some contacts with the HABS but they would be no use to you because you are in the USA.

anyway good luck hope it works out

Yea unfortunately I'm screwed with Canada. As for your 2nd point, I've addressed that twice. 1) It's not just a matter of giving the big guys a call, it's not that easy and 2) the teams, as I stated above you, DO have an interest worth protecting. I know the teams don't own them but that % adds up, they totally have an interest in protecting their IP, even if it's licensed out for the most part. For your 3rd point I agree that's part of it, but regardless there's no way they're getting anywhere the price point of fakes regardless, which is like $10-50. So if you can't compete with the competition, you eliminate them.

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I'm kinda drunk right now so I didn't read this whole thing cause it would give me a headache, but for a while I was talking to this guy from the NHL on Twitter who seemed somewhat receptive to my concerns about the indo edge problem. His twitter handle is @NHLDan. He's the "Retail Marketing Guy at NHL HQ". Try to get in touch with him.

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CJ thanks for the heads up, I found his e-mail and shot him one. We'll see if he responds.

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Update. I e-mailed two marketers for the NHL and got a reply from their head of counsel. The dude was cordial but kind of wrote me off as a fan. I wrote back a dissertation about how I could help them, waiting to see what happens with that lol. Funny he responded to me though. Wasn't a generic response either.

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Yeah I agree very awesome.

Clearly through the experiences of flyhighguys94 we can see the team Adidas has in place to handle counterfeits is unable to effectively identify them. I hope you can make some improvement!!!!

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Thanks guys. Would love to get this off the ground. Anyone have an e-mail for anyone in the Flyers marketing team? I really think I could get in with a team easier than the NHL, especially since I'm local.

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Yea, I shot him an e-mail and another dude in marketing (found their e-mails together on a blog somehow). So I appreciate that man! I at least heard back haha.

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