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Seattle NHL Brand Discussion

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On 2/8/2019 at 2:10 PM, Brian in Boston said:


Well, no matter what name the Seattle NHL expansion franchise finally settles on, it may have an AHL farm-team dubbed the Steelheads. According to the Idaho Press, Eric Trapp - president of the Idaho Steelheads - has confirmed that the Boise-based ECHL franchise has been contacted by NHL Seattle about the possibility of the new National Hockey League club locating its American Hockey League affiliate in the Idaho state capital city.

A promotion for the Steelheads? Seattle NHL franchise looks at Boise as potential AHL location.  

Really? Oof. the Steelheads attendance is meh at best. I'd hate to see them get promoted and then get moved to a new city because they don't meet the parent club's expectations. 

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On 2/8/2019 at 3:03 PM, andrewharrington said:

 

If no one owns it and no one’s using it, why shouldn’t he be able to file a trademark for it? It wouldn’t be fair to block a legitimate trademark filing simply because the requestor is an individual person rather than a large corporation.

 

If this was a musical piece or artistic work that was in the public domain no one would be able to register it as property and make royalties off it. Why should a century old logo be any different?

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On 2/27/2019 at 2:17 PM, uniformity said:

 

If this was a musical piece or artistic work that was in the public domain no one would be able to register it as property and make royalties off it. Why should a century old logo be any different?

 

The main difference is copyrighting (basically protecting authored works like writing, art, music, choreography, etc.) versus trademarking (protecting names, symbols, marks, etc. that identify the origin of a product or service). Copyrights naturally expire (usually well after the author’s death, but the author can voluntarily terminate a copyright and place a work in public domain). While neither the author of a copyrighted work nor anyone else can reclaim the copyright once the work is in public domain, you *can* trademark something in the public domain in association with the good or service that you’re trying to identify. Think, for example, how Adobe used to use Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus” as a branding image. They didn’t own the copyright to that work as it is public domain, but they trademarked it for use in branding their illustration software and could certainly sue another software company who tried to use that image in the same marketplace.

 

Long story short, you can’t reclaim the copyright and reap the benefits of being the author/creator once something is public domain, but you can file a trademark to use something that’s public domain as part of your branding, and you can keep that trademark forever if you continue to use it for that purpose (because there’s no built-in expiration date like there is with a copyright).

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On 2/16/2019 at 7:08 PM, bkknight95 said:

Really? Oof. the Steelheads attendance is meh at best. I'd hate to see them get promoted and then get moved to a new city because they don't meet the parent club's expectations. 

 

The other possibility is they get promoted to the AHL, only to have the parent club realize that Boise isn’t a great AHL city, at which point Boise would have to try to engineer a demotion to the ECHL.

 

Seattle might be better off getting the Utah Grizzlies promoted back to the AHL, because Salt Lake City seems like it would be a better market than Boise—as a Delta hub, there are flights from SLC to everywhere in the West. I’m actually a little surprised Vegas didn’t try to promote Utah for their AHL affiliate.

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4 minutes ago, Mingjai said:

 

The other possibility is they get promoted to the AHL, only to have the parent club realize that Boise isn’t a great AHL city, at which point Boise would have to try to engineer a demotion to the ECHL.

 

Seattle might be better off getting the Utah Grizzlies promoted back to the AHL, because Salt Lake City seems like it would be a better market than Boise—as a Delta hub, there are flights from SLC to everywhere in the West. I’m actually a little surprised Vegas didn’t try to promote Utah for their AHL affiliate.

And the ownership here in Boise has repeatedly talked about how they love the partnership between the Dallas and Texas Stars so it will be interesting to see what unfolds 

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5 hours ago, andrewharrington said:

Long story short, you can’t reclaim the copyright and present yourself as the author/creator of something in the public domain, but you can file a trademark to use something from the public domain as part of your branding, and you can keep that trademark forever if you continue to use it for that purpose (because there’s no built-in expiration date like there is with a copyright).

 

The last point is important, too—that is, trademarks last only as long as you continuously use them in commerce. (Unlike patents and copyrights, which are specifically enumerated as Congress’ constitutional powers, trademark falls under Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce, and therefore a protection for a mark not used in commerce would arguably exceed Congress’ constitutional bounds.) The system doesn’t like to protect what would otherwise be innocuous or “public domain,” so it requires that the trademark holder use the marks in order to keep them alive. That’s how the marks fell out of trademark protection in the first place. In a case like this, the specific marks might still have copyright protection, which would open a different can of worms.

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13 hours ago, bkknight95 said:

And the ownership here in Boise has repeatedly talked about how they love the partnership between the Dallas and Texas Stars so it will be interesting to see what unfolds 

 

So a few things to clarify on the discussion about "promotion" and "relegation" between the AHL and ECHL. 

 

Prior to the Colorado Eagles the conversation was a little easier as the movement of teams was a bit more transparent. Case in point: The Kings owned both the Manchester Monarchs and the Ontario Reign. As part of a larger and coordinated move the Kings swapped the locations of their two franchises.

 

That same off season the Ducks forced the sale of the Norfolk Admirals and moved the franchise to San Diego. The local ownership in Norfolk then went out and obtained an ECHL franchise and called it the Admirals. 

 

The Colorado Eagles muddy this somewhat as they use the term "promotion" when talking about the organization and lay claim to the entire history of the team starting in the defunct Central Hockey League. However, from a purely franchise perspective the team that plays in Loveland is the 2018 AHL expansion franchise awarded to the Colorado Avalanche and operated by the former owners of the ECHL Colorado Eagles.

 

The point being that if Boise was to become Seattle's farm team it would require an AHL franchise. Based on the current ownership trends in the AHL this would most likely mean Seattle purchasing an existing team or obtaining one through expansion. Whether the current Steelheads ownership has any involvement from that point on depends entirely on what Seattle negotiates. They could just as easily buy the Steelheads, move them somewhere else, and call the new AHL team the Spuds if they wanted. 

 

In other words the talk about promotion and relegation is just organizational slight of hand. The names, branding, and hostory are retained between organizations in order to take advantage of an existing fan base and brand equity.  If Boise gets and AHL team and they are called the Steelheads it will be because the parent organization of the AHL team determines it's beneficial to promoting the team.

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On 2/28/2019 at 4:10 PM, Mingjai said:

 

Seattle might be better off getting the Utah Grizzlies promoted back to the AHL, because Salt Lake City seems like it would be a better market than Boise—as a Delta hub, there are flights from SLC to everywhere in the West. I’m actually a little surprised Vegas didn’t try to promote Utah for their AHL affiliate.

 

 

Which would be good for call-ups but I'm pretty sure the AHL is still a bus league. (Which is why it's amazing Boise is even being considered.)

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