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Welcome to the CAPS web site.

The Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports logos (CAPS) is an alliance formed by The Collegiate Licensing Company, Major League Baseball Properties, Inc., NBA Properties, Inc., NFL Properties LLC, and NHL Enterprises, L.P. in 1992 to address common trademark protection and enforcement matters of its members. Since then, CAPS members have worked diligently to enforce their respective trademark rights by pursuing both civil and criminal legal remedies. For example, CAPS works closely with law enforcement, providing valuable assistance during the investigation, arrest, prosecution, sentencing and probation of those who violate the trademark rights of the CAPS members and their affiliated member sports teams and universities.

CAPS appreciates your interest in the protection and enforcement of the CAPS members’ trademark rights. CAPS designed this web site to assist you by providing information regarding the identification and protection of the well-known names, logos and other trademarks of CAPS members. We hope the instructional information provided throughout this site is useful.

Because sports-logoed products are so popular, trademark owners are compelled to establish enforcement programs to protect their fans. Fans come to expect that products bearing the marks of their favorite teams will be of a certain standard. The CAPS members have strict quality control and approval processes in place to ensure that their licensed products meet or exceed these high quality standards.

Visible and high-profile use of the marks by counterfeiters on low-quality or offensive items is harmful to the marks and to the image of the mark owners. Accordingly, the leagues and colleges devote significant resources to prevent unauthorized trademark use.

The CAPS organization has proven to be effective on several levels, including making available to law enforcement and other interested persons the tools to authenticate licensed vs. unauthorized products. While the CAPS members have provided detailed information about their licensed products on their individual web pages, the following are a few general guidelines that apply to the CAPS members' licensed products:

  1. Officially licensed CAPS-member products are distinguished by a sticker, hangtag or sewn-in label identifying the apparel as "genuine" or "official".

  2. Each CAPS member has developed a unique trademark hologram that is affixed to licensed regular season and/or post season merchandise. All collegiate championship products should also bear the NCAA hologram.

  3. The licensee's identification should be sewn in or screened onto the product or printed on the interior or exterior label of all licensed products.

  4. Beware of ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel. Those who violate the trademark rights of the CAPS members are notorious for producing unauthorized products on irregular or imperfect apparel. Apparel manufacturers often denote such irregularities by clipping or ripping the sewn-in neck tag or label. The CAPS members' licensees are not allowed to produce products on irregular merchandise.

CAPS trusts that the following web pages provide you with the necessary information required to assist us in the protection and enforcement of our popular trademarks.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call the CAPS toll free hot line (800) TEL-CAPS (835-2277).

If you have any comments or suggestions regarding the content of our site, please contact CAPS Administrator on the Contact Page.

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