Johnny Manziel’s Trademark Request for “Johnny Football” is in Legal Limbo
ESPN’s Darren Rovell spent his New Year’s Eve chasing down details on the scoop of the century: the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office has notified Johnny Manziel that his application for ownership of the “Johnny Football” label has been postponed until some other red tape has been sorted out.
Turns out College Station, Tex. financial firm Kenneth R. Reynolds Family Investments applied for the same trademark during the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner’s breakout season last year, three months before Manziel’s personal corporation made its move.
Manziel’s team filed a letter of protest, suggesting that the previous filing can’t be trademarked because it refers to Manziel and therefore requires his consent. The trademark filing specifically seeks to use “Johnny Football” on jerseys and footballs. Kenneth R. Reynolds Family Investments has until Feb. 16 to answer why the nickname doesn’t refer to Manziel. Failure to answer by that time will result in a refused registration and Manziel’s trademark filing would then likely be further examined.
It would seem as though the label would be pretty worthless if it couldn’t refer to Manziel in any way. Regardless, it comes across as super shady to trademark somebody else’s nickname and then obstruct his own right to capitalize on it.