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:
- THE JUDGES ARE READY. THE FIGHTERS ARE READY. LET THE WORLD KNOW YOU ARE READY!
- DAGGER – from Washington Wizards announced Steve Buckhantz
- This Is The Voice from Michael C. Williams
- ¿QUIÉN ES EL MÁS MACHO?
- LET THE LEATHER FLY