Generic Fair Use

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Tag: intent to use

This is not how trademarks work

Colin Kaepernick’s “Intent to Use” trademark filing explained

ESPN once again published another article about an athlete seeking to protect his trademark rights in the United States. I have written about this topic before. More than a few times – to be precise. I still maintain that these “athlete trademarks” are getting absurd. Colin Kaepernick, however, is a substantially different athlete in terms of branding and awareness and overall newsworthiness. Kaepernick’s company filed a series of new applications to register a particular mark on October 5, 2018 with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This provides another good opportunity for an analysis of what trademarks are and how trademark registrations work.

More importantly, it allows for continued discussion on how “trademark” and “trademark registration” are entirely different things. Plus, another reminder of the fact that there is no such thing as a “trademark application.”

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Kobe Knows Trademarks

Time flies.  I was a freshman in college when Kobe Bryant declared that he was going to skip college and go straight to the NBA.  Fast forward twenty years and Kobe has announced that he is retiring from professional basketball at the end of the season.  Through a poem.

Kobe has always been known for being a voracious competitor on the basketball court.  But it appears he has a plan for life after basketball.  Kobe has already formed “Kobe, Inc.” and has started the process of acquiring trademark registrations.  For nearly everything.

It has been a recent trend for athletes to seek to acquire trademark registrations for their names and nicknames and likenesses.  (“Johnny Football,” anyone?)  Kobe is just taking it to the next level, which is entirely consistent with his personality as we know it.  The question is what exactly is he seeking to protect?

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