Tom Brady got some not-so-terrific news Thursday as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied his application to trademark “Tom Terrific.”
In its refusal to register the trademark, the USPTO noted in a letter to Brady’s representatives (via NBC Sports Boston) the potential for confusion because the nickname “points uniquely and unmistakably” to former MLB star and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver.
Per the USPTO ruling: “Registration is refused because the applied-for mark consists of or includes matter which may falsely suggest a connection with Tom Seaver. … Although Tom Seaver is not connected to the goods provided by the applicant under the applied-for mark, Tom Seaver is so well-known that consumers would presume a connection.”
Tom Brady’s trademark applications for TOM TERRIFIC have been refused by the USPTO because of a “false connection” with Tom Seaver.
Brady should have withdrawn the applications after the initial public reaction to the filings.
— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) August 23, 2019
The Patriots quarterback caused a stir, especially among Mets fans, earlier this year when he applied for the trademark. Seaver rose to fame in the late 1960s to mid-1970s as the ace of the Mets staff, earning the nickname “Tom Terrific” in the process.
Brady said at the time of his application that his goal was to ensure that people did not refer to him with the nickname.
“It’s unfortunate,” Brady told reporters in June (via USAToday.com). “I was actually trying to do something because I didn’t like the nickname and I wanted to make sure no one used it, because some people wanted to use it.
“I wanted to keep people from using it, then it got spun around to something different than what it was. Good lesson learned … trying to do things a little different in the future.”
Brady has up to six months to respond to the trademark rejection, but given his apparent regret earlier this summer, it appears unlikely he’ll pursue it.
If there is no response in the six months, then the request for the trademark will be abandoned and considered “dead” by the USPTO.