Tom Brady’s representatives trying to trademark ‘TB X TB’

Tribune Content Agency

TAMPA, Fla. — On the same day that Tom Brady officially joined the Bucs, his agency filed an application to trademark the term “TB X TB.”

Yee & Dubin Sports, LLC, the agency that represents Brady, applied to trademark the standard character mark for “TB X TB” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last Friday.

The application says the trademark would be used to on clothing that would include “shirts, t-shirts, pants, shorts, sweatshirts, sweaters, jerseys, sleepwear, athletic tops and bottoms, and headwear.”

This was the same day that Brady posted a photo of himself signing his contract with Tampa Bay on his Instagram account.

Hours later, the Bucs’ social media accounts announced the acquisition of Brady through a hype video. Interestingly enough, the video starts by displaying “TB X TB.”

Apparel manufacturers, including Barstool Sports, have already begun to sell shirts with “TB X TB” on them.

“Sometimes you will see these kind of trademark filings come out of a place where an athlete or a team sees other people selling merchandise, and they want to stop it because it’s really their likeness they are profiting on,” said Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney in Washington D.C. and the founder of Gerben Law Firm. “Sometimes that can spur folks into action when they see other people using a particular phrase or nickname when it really is their likeness.”

Gerban noted that last season, Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones filed to trademark the term “Danny Dimes” after shirts with that term were being sold when his star rose quickly — which began by him beating the Bucs at Raymond James in his first career start — to halt others from profiting off his newly-pegged nickname.

It could take 10 to 12 months for the process to be complete, Gerben said. The trademark office has four months to review the application before it is approved. Then a 30-day window opens where someone can oppose the trademark. After that, the applicants would have to prove they have sales for the merchandise before a registration is issued.

But more importantly, the application gives Brady — or his agency — a federal priority on the mark. Anyone wishing to trademark that term would now go through him.

“In this case, it is interesting because there is a clear reference to the team here,” Gerben said. “So the question would be, who is the rightful owner of the trademark? It would be interesting because this trademark is not just using Tom’s likeness, but it’s referring to the team, so the team could have a say in that, too. Maybe there will be some negotiations about that. Whether there’s going to be a product, where do the profits go?”

Brady first began trademarking the “TB12” brand back in 2009, and has 41 trademark applications for the use of the wordmark and design, including one as recent as last June to make adjustments to his letters and numbers overlapping TB12 logo.

Brady’s TB12 website is already selling TB12 Tampa Bay shirts in black and red.


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