NFL Who Dat Trademark: Saints Chat Song Banned From Merchandise
The NFL is cracking down on the unauthorized sales of merchandise bearing the famous "Who Dat?" line. It has already warned several Louisiana T-shirt shops that are selling merchandise bearing the slogan "Who Dat?" and New Orleans iconic fleur de lis on it. The NFL now claims that they own the trademark, so it is sending out cease and desist letter to merchandisers. It now wants the unlicensed T-shirts and merchandise out of the stores ahead of the Super Bowl finals.
"Who Dat?" is an unofficial chant song of the fans of the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are heading to their first Super Bowl after thrashing Minnestoa Vikings last Sunday. The team was never a big player in the game, but beat Brett Favre's side 31-28 to advance to the Super Bowl where they will meet the AFC's Indianapolis Colts on Februrary 7, 2010. The chat goes: "Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints? Who dat? Who dat?" It has become integral to team's success, and the legion of the Saints fans now call themselves the "Who Dat Nation."
Some merchandisers in Louisiana are disputing that the NFL is the legit owner of the trademark. They say "Who Dat?" and fleur de lis belong to the people.
The original recording artist Sal Monistere agrees:
"Who Dat transcends the Saints, it transcends football," Monistere said. Who Dat is New Orleans. The Fleur de lis is New Orleans. Experts from the intellectual property industry and numerous attorneys agree on this. For the NFL to come after that fleur de lis is absolutely ludicrous, and it's an insult to the people of New Orleans who love and support one of the NFL's greatest teams."
Meanwhile, it is alleged the NFL demands that store owners pay a 10% royalty on shirts sold and do not print anymore shirts with the trademark on them.