Time and time again, Clevelanders are told to just “get over it” with reference to LeBron James and his move to Miami. And then time and time again, we are confronted with images like those to the right.
A Sports Illustrated for Kids cover that features the Miami Heat, only with the “Big Three” dressed in Wine and Gold jerseys, with hats that resemble the Cavaliers of old and the slogan that graces almost all things Cavs: “All For One.”
The Cavaliers, as told to WFNY, own the trademark registration on the phrase “All for One. One for All” in several different classes. We have seen it on the commercials, the t-shirts and even the cheesy temporary patch that replaced “We Are All Witnesses” during the 2010 playoffs.
But, as owners of the slogan, would the Cavaliers have much of a case against SI?
Reaching out to a local attorney who specializes in intellectual property, it seems that most of the legitimate issue will actually come from fans who continue to feel like they are being kicked while down.
“Trademarks generally there to protect the source of a good so consumers know where the good is coming from,” he said. “Anything marketed as ‘All for One’ should be designated towards the Cavs.”
But, as SI would likely point out if asked, there is plenty of room for parody in this instance as we have seen with almost every other LeBron James-based item over the last several months.
“Its definitely misleading and the point of trademarks are meant to avoid confusion. It’s doing the exact opposite of what trademark law is intended to do.
But when it comes down to the first amendment and parody laws, parody is allowed. In this case, SI could literally be trying to parody the Cavs.”
The attorney points out that “All For One” is pretty common, espcially in the case of something like the infamous Three Muskateers. Not using a font that is commonly used by the Cavaliers (Comic Sans?) helps in this instance. He admits that the use of the Wine and Gold in the jersey is very misleading, but to cover themselves, SI uses the Heat name on the chests.
So, fans, when it comes down to prosecution and enforcement, the Cavaliers may not have much of an angle. But when it comes down to feeling like SI is angling for you, you have a very big one. Contemporary use of the word “parody” is used to mock or make fun of something or someone. In this case, that something may very well be the current crop of Cavaliers which we root for on a nightly basis.
(Image courtesy of SI.com)