May 27, 2014

Heat President Pat Riley has Valuable "Three-Peat" Trademark but Turrible "Three-Peat" Products

by Guest Blogger

It is well known that Heat President Pat Riley owns trademark registrations for "Three-Peat" in conjunction with several classes of goods and services. Riley's "Three-Peat" trademarks are back in the news with the Heat poised to make a run at its third consecutive championship. The potential for licensing revenue if the Heat "Three-Peat" hasn't been lost on Riley. His company, Riles & Co., just applied for additional trademark protection for the trademark for use on jewelry and bedding.

While the media has generally praised Riley's business acumen and foresight for trademarking "Three-Peat" some twenty-five years ago, what has not been explored are Riley's "Three-Peat" products. As we have discussed before, words must be used in commerce to be considered trademarks, and the Trademark Office requires a sample (called a "specimen") to prove that the mark is being used. The specimen filed along with Riley's trademark applications reveal that Riley's products are, as Charles Barkley would say, "turrible."

First, there are the "Three-Peat" Bumper stickers for some anoymous, but very sucessful, team:

3Peat Bumper Stickers

Who is this modest team that has won three chmpionships in a row yet doesn't want its name revealed? Perhaps we will never know.

While I am aware that the bumper-sticker specimen was filed in the mid-nineties (the dark ages of design), there are more recent examples of Riley's design issues. For instance, here's Riley's "Three-Peat" iPhone case, which was submitted to the Trademark Office last week:

3Peat Iphone Case

If this is enough to drive you to drink, you may want to use Riley's "Three-Peat" shot glass (which technically says "Three-Pert"):

3Peat Shot Glass

Before you laugh too hard, remember that Riley has made a ton of money licensing these trademarks, and stands to make a ton more if his Heat "Three-Peat" (or Three-Pert") this year. And it goes without saying that, as one of the most celebrated people in the history of basketball, Pat Riley probably doesn't intend to have a second career as a bumper sticker designer.

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