Posts Tagged ‘sports’

I certainly do not understand the full impact of the judge’s decision late Friday in the case by Ed O’Bannon against the NCAA. If players now have more control over the names (and images and likenesses) and a right to profit from them, it seems to me that they might be able to file trademarks to protect those names.  Why is that important?  Because when they don’t file trademark applications others often do in their place. And that makes it more complicated and more expensive for the player’s to protect their brands and to resolve the disputes that are created by the third-party trademark filings.

For example, at least one trademark application sought to protect JOHNNY FOOTBALL in reference to Johnny Manziel while he was still playing in college. The first application for JOHNNY FOOTBALL at the USPTO, filed by Kenneth R. Reynolds Family Investments, LP in October of 2012.  In October 2013, someone filed a USPTO application for “Famous Jameis,” a reference to the eventual Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston.

The recent court ruling (certainly it will be appealed) could open the door for college athletes that are stars and brands to file for trademark registration with the USPTO to provide proper protection for those brands.


“Johnny Manziel in Kyle Field” by Shutterbug459 – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

As long time readers know, I love non-traditional trademarks.  Goats on a roof, ducks marching, lighting, facial make-up configurations, sounds, shapes, and more. Add to the list of my favorite non-traditional trademarks:

a crowd cheering the following words “Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie! Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie! Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie! Razorbacks!”

The marks has been registered by the University of Arkansas. To my knowledge, it is the first “crowd cheer” registered. It does beg the question of how does the university assert ownership of the trademark? Does the University control use of the trademark? Do they enforce unauthorized users? And did the University originate the cheer, or did some fan?

USPTO record for Registration No. 4558864

The original evidence of use submitted by the university is a video of fans performing the cheer

Will other schools jump on the cheer trademark bandwagon?

Related post:Interesting college football trademarks: mascots, uniforms, end zones, turf color, and a cheer

New ACC logo: Love it Leave it?

Posted by ipelton on: July 15th, 2014

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) recently unveiled a new logo.

New logo:

New ACC logo

Old logo:

ACC Logo 2013

The new logo is boring. Unimpressive. Not memorable. The opposite of bold. It tells us nothing about what the ACC is or what it does.

Granted, the old logo was nothing special either.  But if you are going to spend the time and energy and money to update the logo, why not make the most of it?

The ACC’s new logo will be plastered on millions of webpages, uniforms, and TV screens in just one season of football or basketball. And it will tell the viewed absolutely nothing about the ACC — except that it is boring.


Related Post: Best and worst college football conference logos


Trademark Guide to the WORLD CUP Finals

Posted by ipelton on: July 11th, 2014

Sunday will be the final game of the FIFA World Cup 2014. The championship match will feature Argentina vs. Germany. The tournament, and the finals, are big not just for the countries and teams playing, but for the World Cup brand and the brands of sponsors.

Here is a trademark guide to the championship match [click for USPTo records]:

  • Trademark image[Application for German team's logo]
  • Trademark image[Argentina team's logo]

And don’t forget the future tournaments!



In June, the following trademark applications were filed with the USPTO — perhaps seeking to capitalize on the recent WASHINGTON REDSKINS decision from the TTAB and the possibility that the team could change its name. [Click marks for USPTO records.]





Do you think a name change is likely?

If you were to choose a new name, what would it be?