WWE Recently Filed A New Trademark For Sin Cara
WWE is having issues attempting to file a new trademark for the name “Sin Cara”, a character most recently played by Jose Jorge Arriaga Rodriguez, now known as Cinta De Oro in Mexico.
Last October, WWE filed a new application for the name Sin Cara for use in merchandise, such as collectives, books, toys, and novelty masks. The filing is likely to maintain ownership of the IP associated with the character.
On 3/26, the USPTO issued a notice to WWE according to trademark documents obtained by HeelByNature.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.
Rodriguez was released from WWE in December 2019, and now uses the name Cinta De Oro.
Previous Trademark Issues
WWE recently faced a similar issue with attempting to file a new trademark for Dean Ambrose, the character played by Jonathan Good, now known as Jon Moxley in All Elite Wrestling.
WWE previously owned the trademark for a name, which was canceled last August. The company was given ample time to renew, but chose not to.
Over the last year, WWE has had several trademark filings face roadblocks due not having consent documents signed.
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