I tell you what, it's been a hard month for guys who just want to do their thing in sports. First up was poor 'Clipper Darrelle,' who had to fight to wear his team-friendly half red-half blue suit, showing his fandom. Next up was 'fan favorite' Tim Tebow, who had to watch helplessly as his team went out and brought in Peyton Manning, relegating him to either the backup roll again or more than likely, trade bait. Finally, there is the interesting case of Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier, who apparently has to change up his colorful goalie helmet because it depicts the HOLLYWOOD sign.
The following statement is from the Kings blogger John Hovan of Mayor's Manor, a popular hockey website. In essence, it says that the owner of the trademark for the Hollywood sign is demanding a cut from the unauthorized use of their iconic sign.
From the Hovan blog:
Apparently the folks who own the Hollywood sign have been in touch with the NHL regarding Jonathan Bernier's mask. According to sources, Bernier either needs to remove the sign from his current mask or he must pay royalties for using it.
After his pre-game skate this morning, Bernier appeared frustrated by the entire issue, saying 'I don't understand. Guys here have been using the Hollywood sign on their masks going all the way back to Kelly Hrudey."
Though the word 'Hollywood' isn't trademarked in itself, there does exist certain trademark rights for usage of the sign or its likeness for commercial purposes. According to the Hollywood Chamber of Commence, who holds those copyrights, Bernier's use of the image on his mask falls under those guidelines.
While the matter seems petty and childish, the law is the law and it appears that Bernier will be forced to remove that part of his helmet, or even redesign a new one with a less authentic look, unless he wants to fork over some cash to keep his current design.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS