Former NFL quarterback Vince Young has submitted an application for a trade mark to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Whilst this may seem mundane, the subject matter of the trade mark has caused commentators to speculate that it is tied into the retired footballer's professional comeback. However, from a legal point of view, the similarity between the choice of Young's words and the 2016 election campaign slogan of President Trump may leave the former professional open to criticism.
On the 19 February, Young sought to trade mark the slogan 'Make Vince Great Again.' Many believe that this is linked to Young's desire to return to playing professional American football. The last time he played the sport at the highest professional level was in 2011 with the Philadelphia Eagles. Since then his agent has confirmed that he has held open discussions with the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Yet, whilst Young may be looking towards restarting his professional football career, he may be wise to seek legal advice should his own slogan gather momentum in the same way that President Trump's 'Make America Great Again' did. It appears likely that his trade mark application is inspired somewhat by President Trump's campaign slogan and President Trump is famous for his aggressive approach to his intellectual property portfolio.
Given the similarity of the wording of Young's slogan with Trump's and the fact that Young's decision to apply for the trade mark comes close to the timing of when Trump used his slogan, accusations may be made that Young is potentially taking unfair advantage of the repute which President Trump's slogan gathered during his 2016 election campaign. It is already known that Trump has sought to trade mark his 2020 election campaign slogan 'Keep America Great!'. This could be a further problem for Young, again for similar reasons.
It will be interesting to see if Young faces any legal backlash over his trade mark application. Even if he is successful in returning to playing professionally in the NFL, his slogan may throw up legal problems which he never anticipated.Posted by: in: EU/International, Trade Marks