Word of Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch’s trademark application for the phrase, “I’m just here so I won’t get fired,” is drawing the attention of sports fans and IP nerds alike.
ESPN reported that Lynch filed trademark papers with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office last week to protect his – now – classic phrase. For those not privy to sports news, Lynch is known for his aversion towards interviews with the media, and he recited this phrase in response to over 20 questions during the SuperBowl XLIX press day. Earlier in the football season, the NFL fined Lynch $50K for avoiding the media.
Lynch is not the first celebrity to trademark a catchphrase or other quotables. Trademarking allows celebrities to use catchphrases for commercial purposes, along with other legal and business reasons.
Notable trademarking endeavors include Paris Hilton’s, “That’s Hot;” boxing announcer Michael Bugger’s “Let’s get to rumble;” Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte’s, “Jeah;” and, of course, Donald Trump’s “You’re fired.”
So what is a trademark? The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office defines a trademark as:
A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.
For more information about Trademarks, check out the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Basics webpage.