The North Texas Mean Green is protective of its nickname and was willing to send a cease and desist to ESPN and Michigan State when it referred to the Michigan State Spartans as the Mean Green in a recent commercial promoting its matchup with Michigan.
North Texas has a trademark on its nickname and it aimed to protect it when it let ESPN and Michigan State know. However, instead of a prolonged standoff, the cable network backed down and the Athletic Director for Michigan State reached out to North Texas administration.
Thx to ESPN for reaching out quickly & correcting Mean Green usage. I appreciate MSU AD Mark Hollis for reaching out as well. Love the national respect for our brand! pic.twitter.com/M4yhgIrwRh
— Wren Baker (@wrenbaker) October 4, 2017
This incident shows what a simple notification to an alleged infringer can do to save on legal fees. It’s clear that ESPN was in the wrong and it was likely a simple oversight. North Texas was professional in pointing out the infringement. For its part, MSU and ESPN acknowledged the issue instead of attempting to argue otherwise. Sometimes being straightforward may be the best cure for an alleged infringer.