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On the occasion of Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday today, I did a search of the USPTO to see what trademarks might be associated with the legend. To my delight a surprise, quite a few! He was an amazing talent in the sports world and beyond, and he is a smart businessman as well. [If you have never seen “When We Kings,” the documentary about about his 1974 bout with George Forman in Zaire, go rent it tonight!] From what I have read and seen, he is an amazing mix of charisma,wit, intellect, charm, and athleticism. I have always looked up to him as someone who never backed down and did things his own way.

Here are some of the registration owned by his business, Muhammad Ali Enterprises, LLC (click trademark or image to open USPTO records):

THE GREATEST

THRILLA IN MANILLA

FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, STING LIKE A BEE

RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE

MUHAMMAD ALI

ALI

CASSIUS CLAY

GREATEST OF ALL TIME

For several of these marks, there is more than one registration covering a variety of good and services.

It is common today for celebrities and athletes to be wise businesspeople and to protect their names with trademarks, but it hasn’t always been that way. Ali was on top of his “trademark” game in this manner since at least since the mid 1990’s. 

TIP: A brand name used with licensing or endorsements, it is even more important to protect. The name – and the brand built around it –  is certainly the number one factor that someone would want to do business with Muhammad Ali or to buy something with his name on it.

 

 

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