The NFL isn't a fan of the expression, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."
On Oct. 9, the league sent a cease-and-desist letter order to Pittsburgh NORML, ordering them to stop using a logo that bears a striking resemblance to the Pittsburgh Steelers' signature hypocycloid design.
On top of copyright infringement, the letter alleges that NORML's logo suggests that the marijuana advocacy group is sponsored by, or otherwise associated with the NFL. And they claim that NORML's infringement could damage the value of the Steelers' brand.
Will the NFL and NORML pick a roster of lawyers to line up along the legal gridiron? Doesn't look like it. In a letter to the NFL, Patrick K. Nightingale of the Steel City's subchapter of NORML has agreed to stop using the logo.
"We are a small all volunteer subchapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and we have no stomach for a fight with the nation's largest nonprofit, the NFL," write Nightingale.
However, he did take the opportunity to lobby the NFL on the use of cannabis to treat players suffering from chronic pain.
"Cannabis is recreationally legal in three of your major markets – Washington, Colorado, as well as our Nation's Capital, while medicinal marijuana is legal in 24 states, including your largest markets of California, New York, Illinois and the New England area. At present the only pain management options are highly addictive narcotics and opioids. Cannabis is not a performance enhancing substance, but it could easily be a safe and effective treatment alternative for your most valuable assets – your players."