The Philadelphia Eagles have filed a trademark application for “Philly Special,” which applies to a trick play run by the Eagles in Super Bowl LII. The Eagles filed their application for the mark to be used on clothing on February 15, 2018, while multiple other applications were filed in the prior week for the same mark on use in clothing, beer, and sandwiches. The beer application has already been abandoned.
While these other marks were filed earlier that the Eagles’ mark, February 6-9 for the various marks, they are all intent-to-use applications, meaning the marks were not in use as of the filing date. The Eagles were already using the mark in commerce when they filed their application.
The Eagles and the other applicants will have to wait a while, typically a few months, before hearing anything back from the United States Patent and Trademark Office regarding the various applications. At which time, the USPTO will most likely issue Office Actions for the multiple applications, which will have to be responded to by each Applicant. The Eagles by using the mark prior to their filing, already acquired some common law rights to the mark, and it will be interesting to see how the USPTO decides to sort this out. It is unclear whether they were using their mark prior to the filing dates of the other applications, or what affect that would have on the situation either way.
Filing trademarks by NFL teams is nothing new, even in these playoffs. The Minnesota Vikings have filed a trademark application for “Minnesota Miracle,” referring to the pass from Case Keenum to Stefon Diggs to beat the New Orleans Saints and get them into the NFC title game.