Tim Tebow Could Find Himself Battling Over "Tebowing"

Tim Tebow Could Find Himself Battling Over “Tebowing”

On Dec. 20, 2011, XV Enterprises, the marketing company owned by Tim Tebow's brother for all things Tim Tebow, filed six trademark applications for the term “Tebowing." One of these representative applications is below:

Tebowing

Word Mark: TEBOWING
Goods and Services: IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: Paper goods, namely, posters, school supplies, books, magazines, party goods, playing cards, stationery, mounted and/or unmounted photographs, comic books, calendars, notebooks, memo pads, pens, pencils, stickers, erasers, pencil sharpeners, pencil cases, staplers, writing paper, envelopes, paper weights, paper coasters, paper mats, giftwrap paper, drawing rulers, postcards and trading cards
Standard Characters Claimed:
Mark Drawing Code: (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number: 85499412
Filing Date: December 20, 2011
Current Filing Basis: 1B
Original Filing Basis: 1B
Owner: (APPLICANT) XV Enterprises LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY FLORIDA 5082 Hampden Avenue, Suite 115 Denver COLORADO 80222
Attorney of Record: Anthony M. Keats
Type of Mark: TRADEMARK
Register: PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator: LIVE

Why does this matter (except for the fact that Tebow's got just as many “Tebowing" trademark applications on file as he completed passes against Kansas City)? Two reasons. First, the filing covers “trading cards." Second, and more importantly, because XV Enterprises is late to the game. Two other individuals, Jason Vollmer and Jared Kleinstein, have already filed four trademark applications on “Tebowing." Mr. Kleinstein, who does business as Tebowing LLC, filed the below application in October:

Tebowing

Word Mark: TEBOWING
Goods and Services: IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: Hats; Shirts; T-shirts; T-shirts for our website tebowing.com; Tee shirts. FIRST USE: 20111027. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20111027
Standard Characters Claimed:
Mark Drawing Code: (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number: 85458244
Filing Date: October 27, 2011
Current Filing Basis: 1A
Original Filing Basis: 1A
Owner: (APPLICANT) Jared Kleinstein DBA Tebowing LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY NEW YORK 231 1st Avenue Apt 3 New York NEW YORK 10003
Type of Mark: TRADEMARK
Register: PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator: LIVE

So, like all things Tebow, why do we care? Because, there could be a fight over who owns the word “Tebowing."

Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!

The parties are likely going to duke it out at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to see who can dominate the term “Tebowing."

Ironically, when a winner is determined, which in all likelihood will be XV Enterprises, it will be exactly when people will stop “Tebowing."

Along these same lines, it looks like XV Enterprises is also getting ready for war over the term “GB2" which, I found out much to my dismay, means “Go Broncos, God Bless" (or vice versa) and not Ghostbusters 2. Apparently, the Lutte Licensing Group, LLC got a jump on this filing before XV.

For the future, I would not be surprised if XV tries to oppose other pending trademark applications like “Tebow Time," “It's Tebow Time," “Tebow Towel," “There is no I in Tebow," and, my favorite, “What Would Tebow Do?," although Jesus might want to be in on that filing too.

Really, Tebow does not have to oppose these applications because the Trademark Office itself would probably not register the other “Tebow" trademarks as the filers aren't Tim Tebow and likely don't have permission to use his name. But, I agree with XV's strategy. It's best not to leave such things to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board by itself, but to attack them on two fronts, like having both a running and passing offense.

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Paul Lesko is a shareholder at Simmons Hanly Conroy and the chair of its Intellectual Property Department (http://www.simmonsfirm.com). Don’t hold the fact that Paul is a lawyer against him, he’s also a rabid baseball and college basketball fan, and an avid baseball card collector. Paul can be found on Twitter @Paul_Lesko and Google+.

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