November 5, 2018
The New England Patriots recently filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to trademark the phrase “AWWW YEAH”, a catchphrase that started in 2003 and has now become a locker-room staple for the team when celebrating their victories.
While Canada has been slower to accept applications for “non-traditional” trademarks, the U.S. has generally been more open to registering a wide variety of marks. For example, sound marks have been protected under U.S. trademark laws for over 60 years. The USPTO requires specific identification of many goods and services when filing a federal trademark application. One trademark can cover a wide variety of goods and services with many different international classes and separate classifications that are applied to such goods and services. In the sports industry, Tim Tebow’s “Tebowing” and Jeremy Lin’s “Linsanity” are simple phrases that have become widely known among their respective fan bases, and have been trademarked so they can be used commercially.
The Patriots have sought to do the same with the phrase “AWWW YEAH” through two trademark applications for “clothing, namely, shirts, long-sleeved or short-sleeved t-shirts, athletic shirts, sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts, hats, caps, and knit hats” and “entertainment services, namely, providing expert commentary on sports events via the internet.”
The trademark applications have been accepted by the USPTO, but they have not yet been assigned to an examiner. If they are approved, Patriot fans can expect to find “AWWW YEAH” apparel on store shelves.
Author: Pearl Lee