Chuckie Sonntag created "12th Man Thunder" to get fans to back a bidder who would keep the Bills in Buffalo. However, 12th Man is a trademark owned by Texas A&M for some 90 years. Sonntag says he inadvertently infringed the university’s long-held trademark of ‘12th Man’ – a phrase that embodies the fan enthusiasm that fuels Aggie sports. He has since changed the name to Bills Fan Thunder.
“We’re really pleased with the way the university handled the dispute and we fully recognize Texas A&M is the owner of the ‘12th Man’ trademark," says Sonntag, who co-founded the fan group. "We’ve already started operations under Bills Fan Thunder and will continue our fight to keep the Bills franchise in Buffalo.”
“We appreciate the passion Bills Fan Thunder brings to their work to maintain an NFL franchise in Buffalo,” said Shane Hinckley, Interim VP of Marketing & Communications at Texas A&M University. “As many realize, trademarks are extremely valuable and trademark law and enforcement can be very complicated. We have strived to create a ‘win-win’ agreement from day one in this case and we are proud to say our teams have been diligent and reached an expeditious and amicable solution.”
All domain names and social media accounts will revert to Texas A&M as part of the agreement.