Rousey Files Multiple Trademarks

On February 18, 2016, in SELS Blog, by Matthew Weiss

*By Meg Lane

Popular UFC fighter Ronda Rousey recently filed for five trademarks related to the acronym “FTA,” which stands for “F**k Them All.”[1] This news comes before her highly anticipated return to fighting after a hiatus from the Octagon that followed a surprising loss to Holly Holm.[2] Rousey has previously filed trademarks for other phrases, including “Rowdy Ronda Rousey” and “DNB” – “Do Nothing B***h,” which she used in the media to build hype for her headline fight against Holm in November 2015.[3] She further capitalized on this phrase when it became the title of her upcoming Universal Pictures film with Tina Fey, titled “Do Nothing B***hes.”[4]

As defined in the Lanham Act, a trademark is any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof that is used or intended to be used in commerce.[5] The purpose of a trademark is to identify and distinguish goods from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source and quality of the goods.[6] While it is not necessary to file for a trademark, doing so confers certain benefits and protections to filers who repeatedly use a particular phrase or symbol to identify their products.

By filing a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), one gives constructive notice nationwide of the trademark owner’s claim, gains evidence of ownership of the trademark, and gains the potential to invoke the jurisdiction of federal courts should a dispute or infringement situation arise.[7] The process of obtaining registration for a trademark can take over a year in some cases, so the initial filing is just the beginning for Rousey before she reaps the benefits of registration.[8]

Upon the acceptance of her application for registration with the US PTO, Rousey would be able to create and sell FTA-themed goods like apparel, electronics, or other accessories.[9] Her website currently features a selection of Reebok-sponsored apparel featuring her trademark “Rowdy Ronda Rousey” design.[10] After several months of expanding press coverage and attention in the aftermath of her title loss, trademark registration is Rousey’s latest controversial step in her fight for a comeback in 2016.


 

*Staff Writer, Villanova University Sports and Entertainment Law Society Blog; J.D. Candidate, May 2018, Villanova University School of Law.

[1] Gianni Verschueren, Ronda Rousey Files ‘F—k Them All’ Trademark Ahead of UFC Return, Bleacher Report (Feb. 17, 2016), http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2617089-ronda-rousey-files-f-k-them-all-trademark-ahead-of-ufc-return

[2] See Id.

[3] See Id.

[4] Damon Martin, Ronda Rousey files trademark for expletive filled catchphrase, Fox Sports (Feb. 16, 2016), http://www.foxsports.com/ufc/story/ronda-rousey-ufc-files-trademark-for-expletive-filled-catchphrase-021616

[5] 15 U.S.C. § 1127.

[6] Id.

[7] See http://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/trademark-faqs

[8] See id.

[9] See Verschueren, supra note 1.

[10] http://rondarousey.net/

 

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