“Tebowing” Trademarked but it’s not what you think

If you haven’t heard, several news reports have stated that Tim Tebow has been granted a Trademark in “Tebowing”.    You can read the news here. Being a recent law school graduate with no job I had some extra time to do some research on this supposed trademark on his prayer pose done during his sporting appearances. If you don’t know what “Tebowing” is you can see it here.

A simple search of the USPTO trademark database reveals that “Tebowing” has be published for opposition in the official Trademark Gazette.  The Gazette simply shows that “THE MARK CONSISTS OF STANDARD CHARACTERS WITHOUT CLAIM TO ANY PARTICULAR FONT, STYLE, SIZE, OR COLOR.” (Sorry, I wasn’t shouting, that is really how it appears in the Gazette). It’s registered for use on everything from hats, clothing, and posters to sporting goods, DVDs, and school supplies.  Every entry in the Trademark database says the Mark/Drawing type is #4; which is a simple standard character mark.

I saw no place in the description which states the act of “Tebowing” was somehow granted trademark protection by the USPTO.  So no need to get in a tiff that Mr. Tebow owns a prayer pose.  He does, or rather his company, XV enterprises, own the right to use the word “Tebowing” on the vast array of products listed in the classes of goods in his trademark.

Therefore, feel free to “Tebow” away; Tebow before breakfast, Tebow at work, Tebow in traffic, or even in the line at the coffee shop. However you Tebow, I wouldn’t recommend using it to sell DVDs and T-Shirts.

Although, this brings up an interesting thought: Could Tim Tebow get a Trademark in the motion of the “Tebowing” prayer pose? Would the motion of Tebowing be a non-traditional mark?