by Williametta Garnett
The National Football League and the Tennessee Titans have filed an opposition against the XFL over their logo for the Houston Roughnecks on the grounds that it’s too similar to the old Houston Oilers logo.
Although the Houston (Tennessee) Oilers logo was replaced more than 20 years ago when the Oilers changes their names to the Titans, and the XFL stopped playing football games almost a full year ago. The Houston Oilers logo still appears on new merchandise and according to the notice of opposition, “still retains valuable goodwill and consumer recognition”, and the XFL plans on giving a third at it next year under new ownership.
The NFL’s filing of opposition goes on to read that “Consumers encountering Applicant’s [Roughnecks] mark, particularly in connection with Applicant’s Services [professional football games], are likely to associate the mark with Opposers [the NFL], based on the similarity of the parties’ marks and their respective goods and services.”
The Houston Roughnecks unveiled their logo along with the rest of the XFL’s second batch of teams on August 21, 2019. As the Houston Oilers, the Roughnecks logo featured a single oil derrick but included other features such as a star and the letter “H” for Houston, the logo was also in a different color scheme – red, white, and navy blue versus the Oilers’ light powder blue, white, and red.
Despite the differences noted above, it was the similarities between their logo and the NFL’s Oilers designs that were immediately obvious by most observers. Nearly every user who commented on SportsLogos.Net about the logo noted it’s either an Oilers logo “tribute” or a “knockoff”, with one user even stating “I see a lawsuit”.