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Tuesday, May 9, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Hawks' 12th Man lives

Seattle Times staff reporter

The Seahawks and Texas A&M have settled their dispute over the use of the school's 12th Man trademark, both parties announced Monday.

The agreement resolves all of the issues presented in the school's pending lawsuit, which has been dismissed, according to a joint statement from the Seahawks and the university.

In return for acknowledgement of A&M's ownership rights to the 12th Man slogan, the Seahawks can use the phrase in promotions and fan activities in the Northwest. The team can continue its traditional raising of the 12th Man flag before games, and fans can still buy Seahawks jerseys and small flags with the No. 12 on them.

No money was involved in the settlement.

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The Seahawks can essentially use the 12th Man anywhere, but the settlement restricts usage in radio and TV broadcasts without the use of a disclaimer that mentions that the slogan is a copyright of Texas A&M.

Seahawks fans won't notice any difference in usage of the phrase, according to sources close to the situation.

Lane Stephens, a spokesman from Texas A&M's office of university relations, said the school and the team agreed not to comment other than what was said in their joint statement.

The team and the university were set to go to court for a preliminary injunction hearing May 18 in Houston, but both sides preferred a settlement.

The university began using the 12th Man slogan in 1922 and trademarked it in 1990. The Seahawks retired No. 12 in 1984 and have played up the 12th Man theme in recent years to rally their fans to support the team.

Texas A&M asked the district court for a temporary restraining order before the Super Bowl to keep the Seahawks from using the words. The Seahawks then filed a change-of-venue motion to try to move any court dates from Texas to Seattle.

The college is located in College Station, about 95 miles north of Houston.

José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or jromero@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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