Aug 23, 2022

Lightning Strikes Twice For Bolt

Usain Bolt is one of the most iconic athletes of all time and his lightning bolt celebration is his most iconic pose which graced athletics tracks again and again as he won title after title and set record after record. Bolt has been retired for a few years now but his name and brand remain very strong and as a sign of this, he has applied to file a trade mark in the USA for his celebration pose.

The application was filed last week and Bolt is seeking to protect the pose for various different items of merchandise including clothing and shoes, jewellery and restaurants and sports bars. Interestingly Bolt has registered this pose as a trade mark previously twelve years ago but that trade mark was allowed to lapse. On the face of it, this is surprising but the USA has strict requirements in respect of the use of a trade mark and it is quite possible, given that he was in the middle of his record-breaking career at that point, that Bolt could not meet those requirements. Now that he is retired it is not surprising that his attention has turned to seek to monetise his brand and cash in on his extraordinary achievements.

One point to note in this story is that it appears that Bolt has at this moment only applied for the trade mark in the USA, though he may yet make filings in other countries or use the priority period from his US application to extend protection to other territories. As things stand however the pose is not protected in other territories, including the UK, leaving Bolt vulnerable to others seeking to use or register the pose, though if this were to happen Bolt would, on the face of it, seem to have good prospects that any person using the pose was seeking to pass off that the products they were selling were linked to Bolt as people would undoubtedly recognise the pose as referring to Bolt.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 291 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

in: Case Law, EU/International, Legal News, News, Trade Marks

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