Olympics to companies: mentioning "Olympics" in social media is a trademark violation

The US Olympics Committee has sent a letter to companies that sponsor athletes but don't sponsor the games, warning them that mentioning the Olympics in social media is a trademark violation.

Needless to say, they are wrong.

The letter further stipulates that a company whose primary mission is not media-related cannot reference any Olympic results, cannot share or repost anything from the official Olympic account and cannot use any pictures taken at the Olympics...

Baird says that athletes can support a non-sponsor during the Games and a non-sponsor can support an athlete -- they just can't mention anything about the Olympics specifically.

"We need to give sponsors exclusivity to our intellectual property that is protected by U.S. law," Baird said.

USOC sends letter warning non-Olympic sponsor companies [Darren Rovell/ESPN]

(Thanks, Thomas Gore!)