Monday, January 29, 2018

Vince McMahon's Alpha Entertainment Files Trademark Application for Possible XFL Logo

Last week, Vince McMahon officially announced that he is bringing back the XFL in 2020 (although there was speculation of the same last month and I previously blogged about some XFL trademark applications filed in December).

Behind Vince McMahon during his livestreamed announcement was, what many speculated to be, the professional football league's new logo. It appears that logo might be around to stay, as Alpha Entertainment, LLC (Vince McMahon's company and owner of the XFL applications filed last month) recently filed an application to register that logo as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The application is for the logo seen above and was filed on January 24th (the day before the press conference officially announcing the league). Much like the trademark applications for XFL filed last month, this application covers a broad range of goods and services (which appear to be substantially similar to those covered by last month's applications). Some of the covered goods and services include:
  • Entertainment services in the nature of professional football games and exhibitions (Class 41).
  • Downloadable software in the nature of mobile applications for displaying information relating to football exhibitions, football schedules, media guides, audio and visual recordings relating to football (Class 9);
  • Jewelry, watches, clocks, earrings, pins, bracelets, necklaces, charms, rings (Class 14);
  • Posters, calendars, pictorial prints, series of books relating to football, magazines relating to football, stickers, bumper stickers, printed tickets to sports games and events, souvenir programs for sports events (Class 16);
  • A variety of clothing items, including shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, sweaters, and hats (Class 25); and
  • Toys and sporting goods (Class 28).
Alpha Entertainment filed this application on an intent to use basis, suggesting it is not currently using this mark in commerce but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future (which makes sense, considering the league won't premier until 2020). Before this mark can be registered, Alpha Entertainment must actually start using it in commerce and submit sufficient proof of same to the Trademark Office.

This application for the XFL logo, and the five applications for the letters XFL filed last month, are the only XFL-related federal trademark applications filed by Alpha Entertainment, LLC so far. 

However, before all the XFL applications, Alpha Entertainment filed two duplicate trademark applications for URFL in September 2017 on an intent to use basis. Those applications cover goods and services nearly identical to those covered by the XFL applications. Perhaps URFL was another name Vince McMahon was considering for the XFL? Something else?

Friday, January 26, 2018

Meryl Streep Files First-Ever Application to Register MERYL STREEP as a Trademark

On January 22nd, Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep filed what appears to be her first ever federal trademark application and the first ever trademark application for MERYL STREEP (in the United States, at least).
The trademark application covers "Entertainment services, namely, live, televised, and movie appearances by a professional actress and entertainer; Personal appearances; Speaking engagements; Autograph signings; Providing a website featuring content in the field of motion pictures" in Class 41 and lists a first use date of 1975 (which corresponds with the earliest piece listed in her filmography on - Everybody Rides the Carousel (1975)). The application was filed on Ms. Streeps behalf by Keats Gatien, LLP in Beverly Hills.

Somewhat surprising, this appears to be the first ever trademark application filed for MERYL STREEP in the United States and the only trademark application or registration owned by Mary Louise Streep. As I've blogged about before, celebrities, athletes, and other public figures often seek to register their names as trademarks with the USPTO (like Chrissy Teigen, Conor McGregor, and Jay Leno).

Notably missing from the MERYL STREEP trademark application is Mary Louise Streep's written consent authorizing the registration of her name as a trademark. Section 2(c) of the Trademark Act prohibits the registration of a living individual's name, signature, or portrait without that individual's written consent. This applies to the registration of a living individual's nickname as well. TMEP 1206.01. Before this application can register, that written consent will need to be provided to the USPTO.

Assuming the written consent hiccup is quickly resolved, and the rest of the application passes the USPTO's examination process, Meryl Streep may have a federal trademark registration for her name by the end of 2018.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Minnesota Vikings File Trademark Applications for MINNESOTA MIRACLE, MINNEAPOLIS MIRACLE Day After Divisional Playoff Win

The Minnesota Vikings are wasting no time in taking steps to protect the terms coined for their crazy walk-off win in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs last Sunday.

On January 15th, the day after the miraculous win, Minnesota Vikings Football, LLC filed four federal trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office - one for MINNESOTA MIRACLE and three for MINNEAPOLIS MIRACLE. The applications cover a variety of goods and services.
The application for MINNESOTA MIRACLE covers a broad range of goods and services spanning across ten different classes, including football helmets, jewelry, cups/mugs, toys and sporting goods, television broadcasting services, education and entertainment services in the nature of professional football games and exhibitions, arena services, and more. One of the MINNEAPOLIS MIRACLE covers identical goods and services. The Vikings filed both these applications on an intent to use basis, suggesting they are not currently using the mark in conjunction with all these goods and services but have a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. 15 USC 1051(b); TMEP 806.01(b).
Interestingly, despite filing these applications within a day of the Vikings' win, the Vikings filed the other two MINNEAPOLIS MIRACLE applications on a 1(a) basis, indicating they were already selling/transporting the listed goods and advertising and rendering the listed services in interstate commerce before filing the applications. One of those applications covers t-shirts and various entertainment services related to professional football games while the other covers various broadcasting services.

In any event, the Vikings didn't waste any time in seeking to enhance their legal rights related to these terms. According to the electronic time stamps, these four applications were filed between 3pm and 11:30pm on January 15th. The team must have gotten on the phone with their legal counsel pretty quickly after the win to get these filed.

According to my quick search, these are the first trademark applications for MINNESOTA MIRACLE or MINNEAPOLIS MIRACLE filed by the Vikings, although the team is currently listed as the owner of 118 other filings with the USPTO (the vast majority of which are pending applications that have not registered yet).

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Anheuser-Busch Files Trademark Applications for Multiple Variations of DRINKWEISER

A public awareness campaign related to the responsible consumption of alcohol is in the works over at Anhesuer-Busch, and the name of the campaign will be DRINKWEISER (or some variation), if recent trademark applications are any indication.
On January 5th, Anheuser-Busch, LLC filed applications to register DRINKWEISER, DRINKWISER, DRINK WEISER, and DRINK WISER as trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Each application covers the same services in Class 35 - "Promoting public awareness of the responsible consumption of alcohol."

Anheuser-Busch filed each of these applications on an intent to use basis, suggesting it is not currently using DRINKWEISER or any of the variations in commerce in conjunction with the listed services yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. 15 USC 1051(b); TMEP 806.01(b). Before these applications can mature into registrations, Anheuser-Busch must start using the mark with the listed services and submit sufficient proof of same to the USPTO. TMEP 1103. My guess is that only one of these applications, if any, actually registers. The fact that Anheuser-Busch filed four applications for variations of the same mark suggests they have not decided which version they plan on using.

In any event, it looks like Anheuser-Busch is planning a public awareness campaign related to the responsible consumption of alcohol and DRINKWEISER (or some variation) will be the tagline. By the way, for those fans of the DILLY DILLY phase, Anheuser-Busch owns two pending federal trademark applications for it, one covering beer and the other covering headwear and shirts. The application covering beer is in the final stage of the registration process.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Texas Lawyer Files Application to Register THE DOPEST LAWYER IN TOWN as a Trademark

The Dopest Lawyer is based in San Marcos, Texas, at least according to a recent trademark application.

On January 4th, a lawyer named Daniel Mehler filed an application to register THE DOPEST LAWYER IN TOWN as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The application covers "legal services; legal consultation services" in Class 45.
According to the application, Daniel has been using this designation as a trademark in interstate commerce at least as early as January 1, 2014. His firm's website indicates his firm is "dedicated to all things cannabis." The Dopest Lawyer...get it?

While applicants selling marijuana, marijuana extracts, and THC-infused substances are routinely denied federal trademark registrations (regardless of the state in which such applicants are located), this application is only for legal services, which aren't, obviously, illegal.

To qualify for a federal trademark registration, the use of the mark in commerce must be lawful. See TMEP 907. Because marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801-971), goods or services related to the sale or transportation of marijuana violate federal law. Therefore, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will refuse to register marks covering those goods and services (like this application covering "desserts infused with cannabis"). Goods or services that don't involve the sale or transportation of marijuana, but are nonetheless related to marijuana, can still be registered (like this registration covering a creative agency that serves the cannabis business marketplace).

Will The Dopest Lawyer in Town receive a federal trademark registration for his tagline? Pay attention to this application to find out. To all the other lawyers out there - unfortunately it looks like you might have missed the opportunity to coin this term for yourself.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Quarterly Index (10/1/17 - 12/31/17)

Entertainment Trademark Filings:
Sports Trademark Filings:
Other Unique Filings: