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Posts Tagged ‘celebrity brands’

Sports announcer trademarks

Posted by ipelton on: December 11th, 2014

Recently, longtime college basketball announcer Bill Rafferty made some headlines with his applications to register some of his well known phrases. Rafferty filed to register ONIONS and WITH A KISS. The challenge with such trademarks is determining if and how they are used in commerce. Using them in the course of a broadcast while describing the play may not be a true trademark use. A trademark is fundamentally anything that identifies the source of the goods or services. Of course, it is always possible to make apparel featuring the phrase and to aply for registration of the phrase in connection with  clothing — but that is not a real true trademark use either; it is probably ornamental and weaker.

But announcer trademarks are not new, and several of them have been registered in the past. LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE is the best known, and has no doubt generated a lot of revenue for its owner, Michael Buffer. Here are a few other registered announcer trademarks, many of which are also from boxing announcers:

 

 

 

This Saturday, California Chrome will race a mile and a half in the Belmont Stakes, seeking to be the first Triple Crown winner in decades, since Affirmed in 1978.

Here are is a trademark guide to the Belmont Stakes® [click names and logos for USPTO registration records]:

  • CALIFORNIA CHROME – registered for hubcaps and rims, not for horse racing! See my blog post for details.
  • BELMONT STAKES – Registered for “ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES, NAMELY, CONDUCTING AN ANNUAL HORSE RACE
  • BELMONT PARK – Registered for “ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES, NAMELY, CONDUCTING HORSE RACING EXHIBITIONS
  • AFFIRMED – registered for “mugs”
  • AFFIRMED – registered for shirts and hats
  • SECRETARIAT - a very famous triple crown winner, registered for ‘entertainment services, in the nature of thoroughbred racing
  • TRIPLE CROWN – registered for ‘PROMOTING THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THOROUGHBRED HORSE RACING
  • Mark Image- registered for ‘ORGANIZING AND SUPERVISING THE PROCESS OF NOMINATING THOROUGHBRED HORSES FOR A SERIES OF THOROUGHBRED RACES’

 

 

A few weeks ago in the NFL Draft, Johnny Manziel, AKA ‘Johnny Football’, was drafted by the Cleveland Browns.

Since then, more than a half dozen Cleveland themed Johnny trademark applications have been filed (Click marks for USPTO records):

As I have written many times… sports, celebrity, and branding continue to intersect more than ever!

NOTE that Manziel’s own application for JOHNNY FOOTBALL is pending but has been suspended because others beat him to the punch with related filings at the USPTO.

California Chrome won the Preakness over the weekend. In a few weeks, it will have a chance at history, trying to win the Triple Crown.

But California Chrome is a registered trademark — for wheel accessories! See USPTO records for Registration No. 3521430.

This does not mean that the horse is infringing the company’s trademark. California Chrome might be a descriptive name in the wheel industry. And the horse racing business is pretty far removed from the wheel business.

However, I would not be surprised (in fact, I would bet on it!) if the owners of the California Chrome horse file a trademark application with the USPTO before the Belmont Stakes, given the possible merchandising and value of winning the Triple Crown.

New RG3 logo – love it or leave it?

Posted by ipelton on: May 6th, 2014

Robert Griffin III, or RGIII or RG3, is the quarterback for the Washington Redskins. (For now, they are the Redskins. I believe they will change the name in the next year or two.)

Together with his apparel sponsor, Adidas, RG3 recently unveiled a new logo design:

Trademark image

Many superstars have their own logos — Lebron James, Tom Brady, Derek Jeter, Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, to name a few.  (As an aside, note that all those stars with logos have actually won championships.) The special logos help sell merchandise which help pay their endorsement contracts and put money in the athletes’ pockets.

What is the RG3 logo? It is some ‘mash up’ of an R a G and a 3. And it is shaped like home plate? (wrong sport?) I keep wanting to believe their is a hawk or an eagle or a talon in the design, since it looks like it has claws, but I don’t see it. Perhaps it is shaped like a shield, a la Superman? The G is hard to pick out.

The new logo is confusing, jumbled, and unattractive in my opinion.

One plus — Griffin’s company filed to protect the logo last month with the USPTO. See application Serial No. 86249951.