This year, WrestleMania turns the big 3-0. For some wrestling fans, that is exciting news. For others, it is sobering (I also turn 30 this year). World Wrestling Entertainment's signature event started in 1984. Of course, in 1984 it was the signature event of the World Wrestling Federation. Yes, young'uns, before the WWE, there was the WWF. So, what happened?
About twenty years before WrestleMania I, the World Wildlife Fund (now known as the World Wide Fund for Nature) trademarked its name and logo, including the acronym "WWF."
Years later, the World Wrestling Federation sought federal protection for use of the acronym "WWF." It received protection, but soon squared off against the World Wildlife Fund in numerous legal bouts. In the end, "the panda won," as a World Wildlife Fund spokesman famously stated. The World Wrestling Federation dropped the "F" and became World Wrestling Entertainment.
It reportedly cost the WWE as much as $50 million to rebrand. So, what is the lesson? Get trademark protection as early as possible! It provides a number of advantages.
Indeed, the United States Patent and Trademark Office notes that the advantages of a federal trademark registration include:
Public notice of your claim of ownership of the mark;
A legal presumption of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration;
The ability to bring an action concerning the mark in federal court;
The use of the U.S. registration as a basis to obtain registration in foreign countries;
The ability to record the U.S. registration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods;
The right to use the federal registration symbol Â®; and
Listing in the United States Patent and Trademark Office's online databases.
If you are looking to drop the big elbow on your competition with a federally registered trademark, we can help. Just click here.
The lawyers at Trademarkology provide online trademark registration services backed by the experience and service of one of the nation's oldest law firms. Click here to begin the process of protecting your brand name with a federally registered trademark.