Texas A&M University filed suit today against the Indianapolis Colts in a Houston court over its 12th Man trademark rights.
Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young said via a release, "Texas A&M University is the Home of the 12th Man which has brought our fan base national renown. We would prefer not to file lawsuits to protect our trademarks. However, when our intellectual property, especially the 12th Man mark which is so important to our students and former students, is used without our permission after repeated attempts to engage on the matter, we are left with no choice."
Texas A&M points out the use of 12th Man originated in 1922 when Texas A&M student, E. King Gill, was asked to come down out of the stands and suit up for coach Dana X. Bible's Southwest Conference Champion Aggies against Centre College in the Dixie Classic. E. King Gill stood next to Coach Bible for the rest of the game, ready to play if needed. Texas A&M defeated Centre College 22-14, and the 12th Man mark was adopted to identify and distinguish the Texas A&M spirit evidenced by E. King Gill at that game, according to the university.
The university notes the federal trademark registrations by Texas A&M for the 12th Man trademark date back to 1990.
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp is quoted as saying in the press release, "We bear no ill will toward the Indianapolis Colts. We simply want them to respect our trademark rights. Our actions are consistent with our previous trademark enforcement efforts in this regard."
A statement has not been released yet from the Indianapolis Colts.