Orange County Trademark Attorney® Blog

November 2012 Archives

Johnny Manziel Fights to Trademark his Popular Nickname

November 20, 2012,

football.jpgOrange County - Texas A&M and the Manziel family are working to trademark quarterback Johnny Manziel's nickname "Johnny Football," but someone else has already claimed it.

The freshman quarterback has the 9th ranked Aggies at 9-2, thanks to the 21 touchdowns he has thrown and the 17 he has rushed for this season. His popularity hit an all-time high recently when he led the Aggies to a 29-24 victory over the then No. 1 ranked Alabama two weeks ago.

Texas A&M is not interested in obtaining the trademark to make money, but rather to prevent anyone else from using it. In order to protect Manziel's eligibility as an armature player, the NCAA forbids Texas A&M and the family from profiting from any merchandise that can be linked to Manziel. The NCAA also expects the university to prevent other vendors from profiting from merchandise associated with amateur players.

Preventing vendors from profiting from the trademark could prove difficult. Texas A&M discovered that Kenneth R. Reynolds Family Investments, located in College Station, Texas, applied for the "Johnny Football" trademark to use on athletic wear, footballs, and video games on the first of this month. The attorney of record did not return calls seeking comment on the application, but it appears he is not working with the university or the Manziel family.

Even if Texas A&M and the Manziel family are able to get the trademark from Kenneth R. Reynolds Family Investments, they will not be able to use the trademark in commerce for more than three years while Manziel is still playing college football, meaning it will be expensive to protect the trademark without being able to profit from it.

Though they are forbidden from selling merchandise with "Johnny Football," Texas A&M has found another way to capitalize on Manziel's popularity. They have begun selling "No. 2" jerseys in addition to the "No.1" and "No.12" jerseys they normally sell that are not associated with any specific players. And as the season progresses, the school is having a hard time keeping the "No.2" jerseys on the shelves.