A Fresno man is among a handful of people who paid up to $275 for the “Las Vegas Raiders” trademark when news of the team’s potential move from Oakland surfaced in January 2016. The filings have shed light on a trademark system that gives priority to the first people to submit applications, regardless of the validity of their claims.
The applications for the various uses of the Las Vegas Raiders name put in by the team in August are still in limbo as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office evaluates earlier applications for the name, The Las Vegas Sun reported.
Air-freight company owner Lane Blue of Fresno, a Las Vegas clothing company owner, a Houston pain management doctor and a Boston gym owner are among those who applied for the trademark.
Blue, whose bid was denied by the federal government, said his goal was to stop the team from moving. “If I own the trademark that’s worth possibly millions of dollars, maybe I can talk them into staying,” said Blue.
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If I own the trademark that’s worth possibly millions of dollars, maybe I can talk them into staying.
Lane Blue of Fresno
For Ross Notaroberto, the gym owner, applying for the trademark was done “out of boredom, really.”
“I really didn’t have many intentions,” Notaroberto said. “I would’ve been happy with a couple of tickets to a game.”
Patrick Jennings, a sports trademark attorney, said it is nearly impossible to acquire a trademark for a brand such as the Raiders, but the other applicants could delay the process for the team.
“These people think they’re going to cash in,and 99.9 percent of the time, they’re wrong,” said Jennings, with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in Washington, D.C. “For a trademark lawyer, it doesn’t take much effort to knock those (applications) out separate from the patent and trademark office.”
The Raiders need the formal trademark in order to create merchandise and materials with the team name. The team could wait to let the trademark office deny misleading claims to the Las Vegas Raiders name or pursue the applicants more aggressively by filing a letter of protest with the office or contacting the applicants directly.
Those who have been rejected for the trademark will not be able to get back their application fees.
“You’re kind of buying a pig in a poke. You’re not buying anything,” Jennings said.