Monday, December 23, 2019

Heisman Winner and LSU Quarterback Joe Burrow Files Applications to Register His Name/Nickname as Trademarks

Like so many other athletes, 2019 Heisman Trophy winner and current LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is filing trademark applications for his name and nickname.
On December 18, Joe Burrow filed two federal trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the following marks:
Both applications cover the same services, namely:
  • (Class 25) Athletic apparel, namely, shirts, pants, jackets, footwear, hats and caps, athletic uniforms; sports jerseys; headwear, namely, caps, hats, skull caps and visors; apparel and clothing, namely, aprons, ascots, bandanas, bath robes, bathing trunks/bathing drawers, bathing suits/swimsuits, beach clothes, belts, bibs, not of paper, coats, cuffs/wristbands, dresses, dressing gowns, ear muffs, gloves, headbands, hoods, jackets, jerseys, jumper dresses/pinafore dresses, knitwear, leggings, neckties, outerclothing, overalls/smocks, pants/drawers, paper clothing, paper hats, parkas, pocket squares, pockets for clothing, ponchos, pullovers/jumpers, pajamas, scarves/scarfs, shawls, shirts, short-sleeve shirts, sports jerseys, skirts, socks, suspenders, stockings, sweat-absorbent stockings, sweat-absorbent underclothing, anti-sweat underwear, sweaters, tee-shirts, tights, trousers, underpants, underwear, underclothing, uniforms; footwear; footwear, namely, sandals, slippers, tennis shoes, football shoes, cleats, sports shoes
  • (Class 35) Endorsement services, namely, promoting the goods and services of others
Joe filed the applications on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting he is not currently using his name and nickname as a trademark for these goods and services yet, but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). Before these marks can register, Joe will need to start providing the listed goods and services under these marks in interstate commerce and submit sufficient proof of such use to the USPTO. See TMEP 1103.

Notably missing from the applications is a declaration from Joe Burrow consenting to the registration of his name and nickname as a trademark. Section 2(c) of the Trademark Act absolutely bars the registration of a mark that "[c]onsists of or comprises a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual except by his written consent..." This prohibition applies to nicknames as well. TMEP 1206.01. The USPTO will require this declaration from Joe before the marks can be registered.

Both applications were filed in Joe Burrow's name individually by Randy Cangelosi, an attorney at Kean Miller LLP in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. These are the first federal trademark applications listing "Joe Burrow" as the owner.

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