Intellectual Property Attorney

Trademark Registration Of Names, Nicknames And Slogans By Athletes And Celebrities Continues

We have posted a series of blogs regarding the growing trend in which athletes and celebrities have sought registration of their names, nicknames and slogans as trademarks. Trademark registration is typically sought as part of a plan to capitalize on the goodwill associated with such athletes and celebrities, often through licensing programs in which their names, nicknames and slogans are used on various types of merchandise, particularly clothing.

We previously posted a blog regarding former New York Knicks basketball player Jeremy Lin and his application to register “LINSANITY”. Several applications were filed for this mark for various goods (including several applications by third parties), but to date none have registered. We also posted a
blog about former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who sought a trademark registration for “TEBOWING” (in reference to his prayerful pose). A number of applications for this trademark were also filed, and one has registered in the clothing category. Similarly, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sought a trademark registration for “KAEPERNICKING” (in reference to his post-touchdown pose), and a registration for this mark has issued for clothing. In addition, we posted a
blog about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and his trademark applications to register “RG3”, “RGIII” and “ROBERT GRIFFIN III” (applications remain pending). Finally, we posted a
blog about college football quarterback Johnny Manziel and his application to register “JOHNNY FOOTBALL” (application remains pending).

As reported by USA Today, the most recent athlete to jump on this bandwagon is Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Darelle Revis, who has been granted a trademark registration for “REVIS ISLAND” for clothing. Several years ago while playing for the New York Jets, Revis garnered a reputation as a “shutdown corner” (i.e., a defensive back so dominant that opposing quarterbacks would not even throw the football to receivers in his direction). This caused commentators to note that the receivers were on “REVIS ISLAND”, as if marooned on a deserted island.

Of course, athletes are not alone in their desire to take advantage of the goodwill associated with their names. We previously posted two blogs (1,
2) regarding the efforts of celebrities Beyonce and Jay-Z to obtain a trademark registration for “BLUE IVY CARTER”, the name of their newborn daughter (application remains pending).

We will continue to monitor the Trademark Register for additional evidence of this growing trend. Please check this blog frequently for updates.

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