As of February 19, 2019, each of All Elite Wrestling’s trademark applications have faced initial refusal from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The trademarks at issue include the AEW applications made on November 5, 2018 (the AEW design and wordmark, All Elite Wrestling, AEW Double Or Nothing, AEW All Out, Tuesday Night Dynamite, and Fight For The Fallen) as well as Change The Universe, which AEW applied for on January 17, 2019.
The trademark applications for AEW and Change The Universe were initially refused on identical grounds: the misclassification of certain goods and services on the applications and insufficient payment of fees. As a matter of fact, these reasons for rejecting AEW’s trademark filings are present in all of the letters of initial refusal from the USPTO.
Notably, amendments to the international classification and identification of goods are required as AEW misclassified a few goods involving leather accessories, video games, and party favors on each of its original trademark applications. Other issues include, for example, the misspelling ‘bandanas’ and ‘yoyos’ and the term ‘thongs’ being too broad. Moreover, the applications each identified goods and/or services that are classified in at least 13 different classes, but AEW submitted fees sufficient to cover only 9 classes.
In addition to the above issues, the trademark application for All Elite Wrestling requires that AEW “must disclaim the word ‘WRESTLING’ [in the phrase All Elite Wrestling] because it is not inherently distinctive” to the extent that “the word ‘WRESTLING’ merely describes a feature or characteristic of [AEW]’s goods and services, specifically the subject matter.”
Similarly, the trademarks for Tuesday Night Dynamite and Fight For The Fallen contain wording that must be disclaimed by AEW. In the case of Tuesday Night Dynamite, the USPTO aptly observed that the wording ‘TUESDAY NIGHT’ is “not inherently distinctive” and “‘TUESDAY NIGHT’ refers to an evening on a particular day of the week.”
With respect to Fight For The Fallen, a disclaimer for all of the words in the trademark is required because “the term ‘FIGHT FOR THE FALLEN’ is commonly used as a promotional phrase to indicate that a fighting event will occur for fundraising purposes to support fallen heroes.” The USPTO reasoned that the term is used so often that consumers would view it as informational rather than being distinct to AEW’s product.
“Because consumers are accustomed to seeing this term commonly used by many businesses to impart information to consumers, they will perceive this slogan only as informational matter rather than as a trademark or service mark that identifies the source of applicant’s goods and/or services.”
On the subject of the AEW Double Or Nothing trademark, this application has been initially refused by the USPTO partly because of the likelihood of confusion. The USPTO pointed to 75 existing trademarks, such as Double Or Nothing Enterprises, LLC in the music industry, to suggest that the AEW Double Or Nothing trademark may be too confusing to the consumer. Even though AEW Double Or Nothing and Double Or Nothing Enterprises contain differing wording, “marks must be compared in their entireties, the word portion is often considered the dominant feature and is accorded greater weight in determining whether marks are confusingly similar.” Given that the USPTO determined that AEW Double Or Nothing is “confusingly similar” to Double Or Nothing Enterprises in wording, it is a logical consequence that it would also determine that AEW’s mention of “music” and “ringtones” in its application would make AEW’s goods and/or services relating to music too “closely related” to Double Or Nothing Enterprises.
As for AEW All Out, this application was initially refused because two other pending applications use the phrase ‘ALL OUT’ and AEW will likely not be able to trademark AEW All Out if one of the other filings is successfully completed first.
AEW will have six months from the date of USPTO’s letter of initial refusal to respond. Stay with Wrestling Inc. for the latest.