On 3/26, the USPTO issued a notice to WWE according to trademark documents obtained byHeelByNature.com.
The primary issue is distinguishing whether Sin Cara is the name of a “living individual”, including the first name, pseudonym, stage name, or nickname. WWE failed to identify this in their filing. The trademark office requires the written consent.
According to a recent report from Fightful Select (subscription required), WWE applies for trademarks without consulting talent. If the filing gets rejected due to “lack of written consent”, the company politely asks the talent to sign a consent form. There are usually no issues with talent agreeing to sign the document.
In this case, Jose Jorge Arriaga Rodriguez no longer performs for WWE, which could cause issues obtaining consent.
Despite Sin Cara being a character, the USPTO expects the person who used the name to grant consent, unless they are no longer living. If WWE does not provide this information, the trademark filing could be rejected.
WWE does have an active trademark on the name for use in entertainment services, which expires in 2023.
Applicant must clarify whether the name SIN CARA in the mark identifies a particular living individual. In this case, the application neither specifies whether the name in the mark identifies a particular living individual nor includes a written consent.
To register a mark that consists of or comprises the name of a particular living individual, including a first name, pseudonym, stage name, or nickname, an applicant must provide a written consent personally signed by the named individual.
Accordingly, if the name in the mark does not identify a particular living individual, applicant must submit a statement to that effect (e.g., “The name shown in the mark does not identify a particular living individual.”).
However, if the name in the mark does identify a particular living individual, applicant must submit both of the following:
(1) The following statement: “The name(s) shown in the mark identifies a living individual(s) whose consent(s) to register is made of record.” If the name is a pseudonym, stage name, or nickname, applicant must provide the following statement: “SIN CARA identifies, a living individual whose consent is of record.”
(2) A written consent, personally signed by the named individual(s), as follows: “I, SIN CARA, consent to the use and registration of my name, , as a trademark and/or service mark with the USPTO.”
For an overview of the requirements for names appearing in marks, and instructions on how to satisfy this requirement using the online Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) response form, see the Name/Portrait/Signature of Particular Living Individual in Mark webpage.