Houston Cougars Receive Cease-and-Desist from NFL Over Houston Oilers Theme

The Houston Cougars recently showcased their affection for their city by donning uniforms inspired by the Houston Oilers, paying homage to the city’s NFL heritage.

“Houston is strong,” says the voiceover of a video the University’s social media published in anticipation of the new-look uniforms on August 31st. “Houston is tradition, a place with a long history of winning. Always pushing their limits, and never giving up…Houston is home…this place is more than just a pin on a map, it’s a way of life…Love ya, Houston. This one’s for you.”

As the voiceover ends classic Oilers colors come into a frame with a player proudly showing off the color scheme that instantly reminds any football fan of those days of professional football in Houston, Texas.

Unfortunately, after the NFL jerseys cheap and Tennessee Titans got wind of it, Houston is…not going to wear those uniforms again according to a report by Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle.

The school’s program is accused of “blatant copying”, according to a letter Duarte and his outlet obtained, that was sent to the University from the NFL’s legal team.

“The NFL said UH’s decision to wear the throwback jerseys for the Sept. 2 season opener against UTSA came nearly seven months after it explicitly informed Patrick Mulligan, UH’s executive director for brand management, licensing and trademarks, and Lisa Holdeman, UH’s vice chancellor/vice president of marketing and communications, that ‘we did not consent to the Houston Cougars’ use of the uniform at issue or any similar designs,” Duarte reports.

The letter further stated that the NFL and Titans franchise was concerned that the use of the uniforms and imagery would create an inaccurate perception that the Cougars are associated with or have a license to use league and team-protected property like the “Luv Ya Blue” colors so prominently attached to the Oilers.

According to the report, UH has taken down several social media posts and removed imagery from videos that feature the jersey scheme.

Fortunately for the school, it had not sold any merchandise featuring the scheme because the team’s licensing division refused to sign off on doing so.

Something that perhaps should have raised a red flag or two.

Apparently, now the school is considering trying to add the blue color scheme as an alternate jersey option to their own trademarked properties, so this battle is likely far from over.