The XFL is actively pursuing a trademark registration for “HE HATE ME.”
For those that remember the original days of the XLF, HE HATE ME is actually Rod Smart, who made the phrase famous by putting it on the back of his jersey. Rod Smart continued to use the nickname after the XFL disbanded and was even tweeting from @HeHateMe as late as October of 2018.
The XFL made the HE HATE ME trademark application back in 2016. The application has not matured into a registration because the XFL is required to make a “commercial use” of the goods identified in the application (various clothing items) prior to a registration being granted. As recently as February 2019 the XFL filed an extension of time to make a “commercial use” of the trademark. In the extension filing the XFL claims that it is still planning to put out a clothing brand under the HE HATE ME name. So, you can get ready to see HE HATE ME gear soon.
As a trademark attorney, the one thing that I found extremely interesting about this whole application is how the USPTO reacted when it reviewed the application. In the initial examination of the application, the USPTO found that HE HATE ME was a nickname for a living individual (Rod Smart). The USPTO requested the XFL provide Rod Smart’s consent to the registration of his nickname.
In response to this, the XFL made a filing that said HE HATE ME did “not identify a particular individual.”
Not to be easily fooled, the USPTO came back and said, “Due to the renowned nature of the person named in the mark, we are going to need some more information. Will Rod Smart be connected in any way?” The XFL came back and said, “No, Rod Smart will not be connected in any way with the applicant’s (i.e. the XFL’s) goods.”
In other words, it appears the XFL is attempting to register the HE HATE ME mark without Rod Smart’s consent.