Tim Tebow Trademarks ‘Tebowing’

We all know that you can’t print the word “Threepeat” on a t-shirt without paying Pat Riley. Well, now you cannot drop to a knee, put your fist to your forehead, and pray, without potentially being sued by Tim Tebow. How they will enforce, this, I have no idea:

Dropping to a knee like Tim Tebow might cost you now.

The New York Jets backup quarterback has officially trademarked “Tebowing,” the move in which he goes down on one knee and holds a clenched fist against his forehead while praying during games. After Tebow led the Denver Broncos to a series of fourth-quarter comeback victories last season, “Tebowing” swept the country — with actor Robert Downey Jr. even doing it at the Oscars.

Read the rest: Tim Tebow prevails in trademarking ‘Tebowing’.

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  • Phil Miller

    What about facepalming, is that trademarked? Because I probably owe some people some money after reading this…

  • He did it for the sole reason of keeping people from using it to profit off of his image. He has said he has no plans to monetize it himself.

    • Curtis

      This doesn’t sound quite right to me. IANAL, but my understanding is you can only claim a trademark if you file an affidavit that you are intending to use the trademark in commerce, either now or in the near future. This kind of makes sense, otherwise the trademark office would be clogged full of trademark squatters who would trademark every imaginable human utterance, with the idea of collecting trademark license fees when someone wants to actually sell something.

      The only way I can think of to protect the image and phrase in a non-commercial fashion would be to produce products with the image and phrase, and distribute them with some kind of open-source “duplicate, derive, but don’t profit” license, like Creative Commons.

      I don’t think you can protect anything if you don’t use it in any way. Maybe I’m wrong. Can someone provide more guidance on this? Probably belongs on a legal blog and not a religion blog!

    • Curtis

      “Tebow said any money he might make on the move in the future would go to his charity, the Tim Tebow Foundation.” So they are planning to make money. They have to have such plans, in order to file a trademark.

      Do you think that mega-millionaires start charities because they are all really nice people? Well, they probably are nice people. But I know a former investment banker who retired at the age of 35, started a, “education” charity with his money, and now can travel anywhere he wants tax-free, and all of his five-star hotels and restaurants are tax-free, because he sets up an “educational” interview on the other end of the trip. And his BMW is bought through the charity, tax-free, because of course he needs transportation to do his “education” work.

      We need serious tax reform, with some income limit or cap of charitable deductions, like right now. I’m sure Tebow will find plenty of ways to spend the money that his “charity” “might make”‘ in the future.

  • Evelyn

    So what? “Common words and phrases can be trademarked if the person or company seeking the trademark can demonstrate that the phrase has acquired a distinctive secondary meaning apart from its original meaning.” The word “Tebowing” has a distinctive secondary meaning in our society in that it refers to a specific action made by Tim Tebow and, in addition, people can legally trademark their names. “Apple” is trademarked but they never legally established secondary meaning.

    See: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2002/02/can_you_trademark_the_phrase_lets_roll.html

    • Curtis

      “That secondary meaning must be one that identifies the phrase with a particular good or service”

      In other words: no plan to make money, no trademark.

  • Eric E

    As long as Jimmy Fallon can still Tebowie, I’m fine with that: http://youtu.be/09T8AUspQN0

  • Curtis

    Maybe this whole “church marketing” thing has gone a little too far?

  • Chuck

    It just makes him look like a creep.

  • Brian P.

    When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

  • Well, That sucks!™ (btw, I have recently trademarked that slogan, and I’ll be vigilantly checking my Google alerts to track each and every time it’s used online, as well as employing satellite surveillance to catch people saying it. But not to worry because I plan to use all the proceeds to solve the world’s clean drinking problem. So please, I implore you, say, That sucks!™ often – and loudly so I can get a good recording of it!)