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Intellectual Property

Don’t Go Tebowing All Over the Place

By October 24, 2012No Comments

As it often happens in professional sports, a unique statement, name, or play style suddenly becomes an overnight sensation.  I previously Lin-troduced you to Jeremy Lin, NBA Star (read about it here).  Now, as it seems, Tim Tebow, a quarterback for the New York Jets (previously Denver Broncos), has again ignited his own fad craze.

The dual-threat quarterback is well known for his “Tebowing” pose, where he drops to one knee and prays.  The pose is so well known that the phrase TEBOWING has been showing up on t-shirts, mugs, backpacks, and other paraphernalia.  In order to maintain stronger control over his own name and brand image, Tim Tebow decided to trademark TEBOWING.  Unfortunately, as it often happens, he was not first in line and needed to overcome the confusion created by several existing applications for TEBOWING (See my post The Importance of Being First).

In the decision of the USPTO, the Examiner determined that Tim Tebow was the only person entitled to the TEBOWING trademark, and disallowed the registration of several existing TEBOWING applications.  The USPTO stated that any application by someone other than Tim Tebow would be confusing with the identity and name of a living person.  Canada has similar restrictions in section 9(k) and 9(l) of the Trade-Marks Act.

If your name has gone viral, contact me to trademark it today.

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