WWE Recently Filed A New Trademark For Dean Ambrose
WWE has faced a roadblock attempting to file a new trademark for the name “Dean Ambrose”, a character previously played by Jonathan Good, better known as Jon Moxley in All Elite Wrestling.
Last October, WWE filed a new application for the name Dean Ambrose under the entertainment services classification, namely, wrestling exhibitions and performances by a professional wrestler. The filing is likely to maintain ownership of the IP associated with the character.
On 3/10, the USPTO issued a review of the filing according to trademark documents obtained by HeelByNature.com.
The first issue is identifying whether Dean Ambrose is the name of a “living individual”, including the first name, pseudonym, stage name, or nickname. WWE failed to identify this in their initial filing. The trademark office requires the written consent, which in this case would be Jonathan Good (Jon Moxley).
Despite Dean Ambrose being a character, the USPTO requires the person who used the name to provide consent, unless they are no longer living. If WWE does not provide this information, the trademark filing could be refused.
In the past, the USPTO has sourced online materials to identify the identities of individuals who have played WWE characters. WWE has faced issues with several trademarks over the last year for their own talent for not having consent documents signed.
Applicant must clarify whether the name DEAN AMBROSE 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: “DEAN AMBROSE identifies, a living individual whose consent is of record.”
(2) A written consent, personally signed by the named individual(s), as follows: “I, DEAN AMBROSE, 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.
The second issue is advising WWE of amending the identification of services, which can quickly be resolved by changing the wording associated with the filing
The Trademark Act requires that a trademark or service mark application must include a “specification of … the goods [or services]” in connection with which the mark is being used or will be used. Specifically, a complete application must include a “list of the particular goods or services on or in connection with which the applicant uses or intends to use the mark.” This requirement for a specification of the particular goods and/or services applies to applications filed under all statutory bases.
The wording “Entertainment services, namely, wrestling exhibitions and performances by a professional wrestler and entertainer rendered live and through broadcast media including television and radio, and via the internet or commercial online service” in the identification of services is indefinite and must be clarified to specify 1) nature of entertainment services provided, e.g., production of performance or organizing/conducting performances; and 2) how performances are broadcast, e.g., recorded to enable broadcast. See recommended modifications in the section entitled “Suggestions” below. Applicant must amend this wording to specify the common commercial or generic name of the services. If the services have no common commercial or generic name, applicant must describe or explain the nature of the services using clear and succinct language.
WWE previously maintained the trademark for a name, which was canceled this past August. The company was given sufficient time to renew, but decided not to. This new application is separate from the old filing.
WWE has six months to respond to the issues, or the application will be abandoned.
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