As previously reported in the E-TIPS® Newsletter, Miami Dolphins defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick filed a US trademark application for "Fitzmagic," a nickname he claims to have gone by since high school. However, the timing of Minkah’s filing was suspicious, as the nickname was then being used by the media to describe the impressive play of Tampa Bay Buccaneers journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Ryan had no inclination or desire to protect the nickname himself.
On January 1st of this year, Minkah Fitzpatrick received notice from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that his application was denied in a response that made reference to the Tampa Bay quarterback. The response stated that "[r]egistration is refused because the applied-for mark consists of or includes matter which may falsely suggest a connection with Ryan Fitzpatrick" and that "[a]lthough Ryan Fitzpatrick is not connected with the goods and/or services provided by the applicant under the applied-for mark, Ryan Fitzpatrick is so well known that consumers would presume a connection".
The denial of the trademark application was not surprising given the timing of the filing. Minkah has six months to respond to the USPTO correspondence to provide reasons as to why he should be entitled to registration of the mark, otherwise his trademark application will be abandoned.
Summary By: Hashim Ghazi