An interesting trademark filing was recently made by the NFL for ‘Duluth Eskimos’ on April 25th.
So who are the “Duluth Eskimos”? The Duluth Eskimos were a football team put together at the very northern tip of Minnesota back in the 1920s. You can read all about them on Wikipedia. Also, ironically, this is a popular exhibit in a new Vikings Museum. Therefore, it’s very possible that the popularity of the history of this team has spurred the NFL to make the trademark filing for the Duluth Eskimos in order to protect the name, as well as to get some revenue from novelty sales during the NFL’s 100th anniversary season this upcoming year.
With that said, if you look closely at the application, I found something interesting that led me to believe the NFL could have plans to ask a team, perhaps the Minnesota Vikings, to play a game this year under the name the Duluth Eskimos. This is because of the language that says, “Entertainment services in the nature of professional football games.” What this language means in the trademark world is that this is the name of a football team. In order for a trademark application to ultimately register, you must use the trademark for the services identified in the application. So, while I am merely speculating, it would be very odd for the NFL to have put this language in the application and not intend to have a team playing a game underneath this name.
UPDATE: Since the posting of this video on Twitter, the NFL released a statement indicating that no NFL team would change its name to the Duluth Eskimos for any game.