San Diego - A doctor from Birmingham, Alabama has filed a U.S. Trademark Application for "Famous Jameis", the same nickname that has been recently popularized as referring to Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston. The application was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") on October 24, 2013 in connection with "Athletic pants; Athletic shirts; Body shirts; Clothing for athletic use, namely, padded pants; Clothing for athletic use, namely, padded shirts; Golf shirts; Gym pants; Hats; Hooded sweat shirts; Shirts; Shirts and short-sleeved shirts; Sport shirts; Sports caps and hats; Sports pants; Sports shirts; Sweat pants; Sweat shirts; T-shirts; Tee shirts."
Dr. Mukul Mehra, who attended the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham, has no official ties to the standout Florida Seminoles Player, who grew up in a suburb of Birmingham. With respect to the filing, Mehra denied that he chose the trademark solely because of Jameis Winston, saying, "It's not necessarily geared toward him... I don't know what our intent completely is. We haven't worked all of that out." He has, however, already approached an Alabama sports marketing company about manufacturing t-shirts branded with the "Famous Jameis" trademark.
Whether the Examining Attorney at the USPTO will realize that the moniker has come to fame as a nickname for an actual person remains to be seen. Regardless, given the publicity the filing has garnered, it is likely that Mr. Winston himself has learned about the application and perhaps he will consider opposing the application or even buying it. Indeed, it seems that Mehra has already considered this as he was quoted as saying, "If it's something they're interested in using, we could potentially market it together."
This situation draws parallels to the contentious dispute that arose last year when a California businessman filed a trademark application for NBA player Jeremy Lin's "Linsanity" nickname. After months of legal back and forth, the USPTO finally awarded Lin the trademark. Both Lin and Winston shot to sports stardom in relatively short periods of time, gaining huge fan bases and large social media followings in a matter of months. With Winston's popularity only rising as the Seminoles push towards a potential BCS title and he continues to be brought up in Heisman talks, the trademark associated with his name only seems to be growing in value. The question remains, however, whether Winston or someone else will be the one to profit from it.