Sports Law Blog
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Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Retro-craze Heads to High School: The Washington Post reports today that the retro jersey phenomenon has spread to high school gear, with the high school jerseys of NBA and NFL stars becoming hot items. However, not all of the jerseys being sold or worn are legal. Websites such as and have not obtained the rights to the players, a clear violation of their rights of publicity. There are also copyright violations and trademark infringements with respect to the high school team's name, logo and jersey design.

    "Just like with actors and actresses the names and images of these athletes has significant value," said [one attorney]. "The value is diluted by people who act without authorization, and numerous laws prohibit the use of unauthorized materials."

One company, Taylor & Madison, is following the law and has obtained permission from 65 current and former players. Hopefully, the infringers will be snuffed out. Imitation merchandise is often of lower quality, which hurts consumers that often do not know better.


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