As a sports fan, the last few weeks have been epic. First, my alma mater, Vanderbilt, won its first NCAA baseball championship in dramatic fashion:
Then the United States had a successful run at the world's biggest sporting event: the World Cup. Two words: Tim Howard.
And this past weekend, the world's third biggest sporting event - the Tour de France - got underway. For the uninitiated, the Tour is a 3-week long bike race held every year in July. This year's race consists of 21 stages and covers a total distance of 2,276 miles (3,664 kilometers). Each of the 22 teams in the Tour has nine riders, which brings the total number of participants to 198. Last year's winner, Chris Froome, was the favorite to win "le maillot jaune", however, he quit during the fifth stage after crashing twice. Spain's Alberto Contador is now the presumptive favorite. Of course, there is a long way to go before the racers make their way to Paris. Stay tuned!
Given the global appeal of the Tour, race organizers have sought trademark protection around the world. They own 3 federal trademark registrations in the United States.
TOUR DE FRANCE, U.S. Reg. No. 1,271,110, is for organizing and conducting races. Here is the cover page of the 1980 race guide that was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as an example of trademark use:
TOUR DE FRANCE, U.S. Reg. No. 3,990,943, is for books. This is the front page of the 2008 Official Guide, which was submitted to the USPTO to show trademark use:
And last, but not least, LE TOUR DE FRANCE, U.S. Reg. No. 4,060,807, is for wine. How French is that? Here is an example of trademark use:
Registering their trademarks in the United States gives Tour organizers the exclusive right to make and sell products bearing the marks, and they may license others to make and sell the products in exchange for paying a royalty. This provides an opportunity to increase revenue so organizers can ensure that the Tour remains the biggest, best and wealthiest bike race in the world. C'est bon, non?
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.