When Players go big they start to produce large amounts of merchandise, I over at colmandesign llc have the opportunity to become a partner in an up and coming brand. As part of it, a huge battle went through a large process. This process is well worth it in the end as these are the steps it takes to make something great.
“Johnny Football” and “Juanito Fútbol.” One of the two phrases has received federal registration by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), which places the public on notice of the registrant’s claim of ownership over the trademark and gives the registrant the exclusive right to use the trademark on or in connection with the goods or services listed in the registration.
If you guessed that the phrase to receive trademark registration is “Johnny Football,” then you were wrong.
Filed by JMAN2 Enterprises, LLC, a Texas limited liability company and Johnathan Paul Manziel AKA Johnny Manziel, the “Johnny Football” application remains pending with the USPTO. On May 22, the USPTO issued an “Office Action” putting the applicants on notice that the application may be abandoned altogether by November 22 if certain items were not corrected or clarified. There has been no indication that the application’s flaws have been remedied to date.
Specifically, the USPTO is mostly concerned that the applied-for “Johnny Football” mark “(1) is merely a decorative or ornamental feature of applicant’s clothing; and (2) does not function as a trademark to indicate the source of applicant’s clothing and to identify and distinguish applicant’s clothing from others.” As shown in the image above, the “Johnny Football” phrase is located on the upper-center area of the front of the t-shirt, which is a common location for ornamental elements to appear. The key question is, would most consumers view the slogan as a decoration on the t-shirt or instead automatically believe the slogan identified the source of the shirt?
Meanwhile, an individual named Shannan Young from Plano, Texas received her registration certificate for “Juanito Fútbol” from the USPTO on September 3. In the May 22 Office Action letter concerning “Johnny Football,” the USPTO examining attorney made specific mention of the then-pending “Juanito Fútbol” trademark application and stated that in the case it received registration, Manziel’s mark may also be refused registration based on a likelihood of confusion with the registered mark.
“Juanito Fútbol” is now a registered trademark for use in commerce in connection with hats, jerseys, sweatshirts and t-shirts. Meanwhile, “Johnny Football” (the trademark) remains sidelined.