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Thursday, April 17
Updated: April 18, 4:26 PM ET
Raiders have beef with uniforms for Bucs, Panthers

Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders have asked a judge to prevent the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers from wearing their uniforms for games in California because they violate the Raiders' trademark rights.

The Raiders claim Tampa Bay's pirate logo is too similar to Oakland's. And the Raiders object to the Panthers' uniforms because two colors -- silver and black -- match those of the Raiders.

NFL spokesman Joe Browne said the issue is one of a handful that remain from a 1996 suit by the Raiders listing multiple grievances against the league. Some were transferred to courts in Los Angeles, where another Raiders case against the league is being fought.

Others already have been dismissed by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge John Herlihy. He did not rule Tuesday on the Raiders' efforts to seek a court order against the NFL banning those uniforms in California.

Papers filed by the Raiders in the San Jose case say the Buccaneers' logo "is likely to dilute the distinctive quality of the Raiders' mark, thereby lessening its capacity to identify the Raiders and causing irreparable harm that cannot adequately be compensated by an award of damages.''

NFL attorneys argued there will always be overlap among logos and colors. One of them, James Hunt, said "Michigan could say any uniforms featuring predatory cats'' would be prohibited in that state, given that the Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars also have such animals in their logos.

Herlihy seemed sympathetic to the NFL's position.

If California tells Tampa Bay to wear a new uniform for games here, he said, then Florida might say "when the Raiders come to Florida, get that logo off your uniform,'' Herlihy said, suggesting the Raiders might "put a daisy on your uniform'' as an alternative to their pirate.

The Panthers had no comment on the suit.

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