Colin Kaepernick, the former American football star known just as much for his impressive professional career as he is his civil rights protests, has sought to protect his likeness.
Last week, it emerged that Kaepernick had filed a trade mark application for a simple image of his face and hair in black and white. The application covers products such as jewellery and phone cases but also for seminars in self-empowerment and education.
Back in August, Kaepernick also filed a trade mark application for the phrase 'I'm With Kap' for clothing such as caps, t-shirts and hoodies. The 'I'm with Kap' merchandise can currently be bought on his website with 20% of profits going to the Know Your Rights Camp, a campaign founded by the quarterback aimed at raising awareness on self-empowerment.
The 'I'm With Kap' phrase was coined post 2016 when Kaepernick ignited controversy after choosing to kneel on one knee during the American national anthem at the start of NFL games. Kaepernick chose to kneel as a protest against racial injustices in America and as a way of raising awareness of police brutality. Kaepernick received a multitude of criticism following his protests and has been a free agent since opting out of his 49ers contract that year, but equally, he has received a host of positive responses to his actions. Last month, Kaepernick was featured in Nike's Just Do It campaign with the words, 'believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything' and he has also just been awarded the prestigious W.E.B Du Bois medal, an award given to those who have made significant contributions to African-American history and culture.
It appears Kaepernick is more powerful than ever and so it is no surprise he has applied to register his likeness. It will be interesting to see what other uses Kaepernick will make of his trade marks, should they be registered.
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