Kelly Slater’s Four Year Patent Process …
While we are waiting for the horn and green flag, let’s talk about preparing to compete.
I don’t know what was going through Kelly Slater’s mind as he was waiting for his application to get examined, but many inventors get extremely anxious to see what the first response from the USPTO will be. Inventors often are not aware that filing a patent application and getting an issued patent are two entire different things, and that each inventor stands a significant chance of getting rejected by the USPTO.read more
Entrepreneurs and Inventors,
Just a reminder to mark your calendars for this months Inventing Profit meeting. Our theme is “How to Attract Investors”. One of the major problems facing solo inventors is how to fund turning their idea into a profitable product.read more
To Tebow Or Not To Tebow? - That is The Question
I recently wrote about the famous surfer Kelly Slater’s patent application, pointing out some of the major errors made by commentators who obviously didn’t understand patent law very well, when I read that Tim Tebow had been “granted” a trademark by the United States Patent & Trademark Office. I was amused, and quickly looked at the USPTO records, and found no issued trademark, so, I decided to go over Mr. Tebow’s application and its prosecution history to illustrate a few points about trademark law.
Let’s take the snap and drop back, looking to see how Tim appears to be very close to scoring a touchdown with his various trademarks.
The trademark issues, however, would never even appear on anyone’s radar except for the impact that Tim Tebow has had on college and pro football; on the 2007 Heisman Trophy playing quarterback for the University of Florida Gators. A devoutly religious man, Tim used to decorate his eye black with biblical references, leading to implementation of “The Tebow Rule” which prohibited players from wearing messages on their eye black.
He was then drafted in the first round by the Denver Broncos, who took advantage of a 250 pound quarterback built more like a linebacker or tight end, and used him for passing, running, and even on special teams. In addition to his ability to play multiple positions, Tim became well known for his, well, “Tebowing”, in which before, after, and even during games he would drop to one knee for a brief prayer. Indeed, after his trade to the New York jets and current position as a backup quarterback, it could be said that “Tebowing” is as well known as Tebow himself.
When you file a trademark application that may suggest a connection with a famous person, the trademark examiner can demand to know whether or not the application is connected with the famous person or not. So, the examiners who examined applications (filed by persons not apparently associated with Tim Tebow) for “Tebowmania”, “Tebow Nation”, “There is no I in Tebow”, “Winning is INeviTEBOW”, a stylized “Tebow” in a stylized fish, and others too numerous to name, the examiners had a fairly consistent response, and I quote from one.
“Registration is refused because the applied-for mark consists of or includes matter which may falsely suggest a connection with Tim Tebow. Although Tim Tebow does not appear to be connected with the goods and/or services provided by applicant under the applied-for mark, Tim Tebow is so famous that consumers would presume a connection. Registration is refused because the applied-for mark consists of or includes a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual whose written consent to register the mark is not of record.”
Discussion will be continued…with the “Trademark Examination”