SBD/January 24, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Kaepernick Files To Trademark "Kaepernicking," With T-Shirts Already In The Works

Apparel company Sportiqe will make the official “Kaepernicking" shirt
49ers QB Colin Kaepernick “applied to trademark” the term “Kaepernicking” on Jan. 14, just two days after his breakthrough win against the Packers in the NFL playoffs, according to Eric Branch of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The trademark filing “indicates Kaepernick intends to use the term on ‘clothing, namely shirts’” (SFGATE.com, 1/23). ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell reported Kaepernick's marketing team at X-A-M Sports “already has authorized a few small T-shirt companies to use his name and image on their products.” The official “Kaepernicking" shirt is “made by a company called Sportiqe.” Some proceeds from that shirt “go to Camp Taylor, which organizes camps for children with congenital heart defects.” X-A-M Sports PR & Marketing Dir Shawn Smith said that her team “intends to file other trademarks on her client’s behalf” (ESPN.com, 1/23).

ALL IN THE FAMILY: ESPN.com’s Rovell reported the NFL “pressured an Indiana man to give up his quest to trademark ‘Harbowl,’ even though the man might have had a legal right to do so.” Roy Fox said that he spent "more than $1,000 to file for the trademarks ‘Harbowl’ and ‘Harbaugh Bowl’” last February. However, a couple of weeks before the NFL season started, the NFL “sent a note to Fox saying that it was concerned that his recent trademarks could easily be confused with the NFL's trademark of Super Bowl.” The NFL “encouraged Fox to abandon the marks, citing conflict with its mark.” Fox said that the league “refused to provide him with any remedy.” Univ. of Pennsylvania Law School professor R. Polk Wagner said that Fox not owning the trademark “doesn’t mean that Fox still can’t make T-shirts with his phrases, he just can’t make money from others making them” (ESPN.com, 1/23).
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