The day after the 2019 NBA Draft, both Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans filed trademark applications for “Let’s Dance.”
Zion Williamson filed four separate applications. The applications filed by Zion indicate that the top pick in this year’s NBA draft has an intent to offer “computer games, video games, mobile applications, bags, luggage, a clothing brand, and toys” under the “Let’s Dance” trademark. On the other hand, The Pelicans filed two applications. The Pelicans filings covered items such as basketball games, basketball camps, and, a clothing brand.
Ultimately, the New Orleans Pelicans beat Zion Williamson to the trademark office by a few hours. The Pelicans’ filings were made around 3:30PM on Friday, June 21st, while Zion’s applications were filed around 8:30PM on the same day. When it comes to trademarks, the person or entity that files first gets the federal priority on the trademark. In this case, by beating Zion Williamson to the trademark office by about five hours, in theory, the New Orleans Pelicans have the priority on the “Let’s Dance” trademark. Assuming the Pelicans’ applications are approved, this will cause the denial of Williamson’s applications.
This very much appears to be a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. It would be very unlikely that a team that just drafted Zion Williamson, as the number one pick in the 2019 draft, would want a trademark dispute with their new superstar. It would be surprising if there was not an amicable resolution to who owned the trademark. Nevertheless, it is highly ironic that they both decided they were going to file trademark applications for “Let’s Dance” the day after the NBA draft.