Bloomberg Law Speaks with Josh Gerben about Refusal of NFL Washington Football Team’s Trademark Application

NFL’s Washington Football Team’s trademark application for “Washington Football Team” was recently refused for being geographically descriptive and a similar registration.

Josh Gerben offers insight on the non-final refusal of the trademark application:

“But the refusal isn’t the bad news it may seem to be, trademark attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Perrott, PLLC said. The owner of the “Washington Football Club” mark has said he’d be willing to give the team the mark in the press, Gerben said. It should be easy for an NFL team to establish that the marks have become distinctive to consumers, which would allow a descriptive marks to be registered, Gerben said.

‘If they want to use this as a long-term solution, I’d actually be happy with this examination,’ Gerben said. ‘They would have very little to worry about. This might embolden me to do it.'”

“Gerben called it “very odd” that it took the PTO nearly a full year to complete an initial examination that usually takes 4-5 months.”

“But to get registered even on the supplemental register the team will have to either acquire or convince the PTO invalidate the “football club” mark, Gerben said.”

Source: Jahner, Kylel. Schoof, Renee and Perine, Keith. “NFL Washington Football Team’s Trademark Bids Rebuffed (1)”. 21 June 2021.

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