Friday, October 23, 2015

Today's Tip for Saving Your Trademark Filing Fee - Don't File an NFL-like Logo

Any trademark attorney will advise you to avoid filing or using any trademark that resembles a professional sports team's colors, name, and/or logo. These leagues and teams are aggressive about policing their intellectual property and typically have trademark registrations for a variety of goods and services.

Unfortunately the applicant that recently filed a LOS ANGELES CHARGERS design mark did not appear to work with an attorney.

On October 17th, an individual in California filed a federal trademark application for the logo below as it relates to "[e]ducation and entertainment services, namely, production and distribution of ongoing television programs in the field of family management and relationships; Educational and entertainment services, namely, a continuing program about football games accessible by means of radio, television, satellite, audio, video, web-based applications, mobile phone applications, computer networks, etc."
I'm not even a big football guy and immediately recognized this logo as almost exactly resembling the San Diego Charger's logo. Undoubtedly the team and NFL will take notice as well, especially considering that the specified services are related to entertainment and football.

When this application is assigned to an examining attorney at the Trademark Office in approximately three months, that attorney will almost certainly issue an office action refusing to register the above mark due to its similarity with a previously filed San Diego Charger's mark. 

If for some incredible reason this application slips past the examining attorney, you can be sure the NFL will file an opposition or otherwise fight this attempted registration. Unfortunately for the applicant, this means his $275 nonrefundable filing fee, and any other money he spent on designing and marketing this logo, is almost certainly lost. This is another instance in which the applicant could have benefited from working with an experienced trademark attorney who would have recognized these issues right away and advised against this application.

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