Even though the Oakland Raiders have not yet received the NFL’s blessing to relocate (again), the team appears to be protecting a potential Las Vegas future from potential trademark raiders.
ESPN and Forbes.com both noticed that the Oakland team, which had recently hoped to return to Los Angeles before the league handed that honor to the Rams, had filed multiple trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in just the last week.
These trademarks cover a wide range of product lines, including… deep breath: “Clothing, footwear and headwear, namely, caps, hats, visors, headbands, ear muffs, wristbands, tops, T-shirts, tank tops, knit tops, sleepwear, golf shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, turtlenecks, jackets, neckties, bibs not of paper, jerseys, coats, robes, ponchos, sneakers, gloves, scarves, mittens, aprons, shorts, sweatpants, jeans, pants, socks, underwear, swimwear, rompers.”
Not to mention “professional football games and exhibitions; football fan club services; entertainment services, namely, musical and dance performances provided during intervals at sports events; educational services, namely, physical education programs; production of radio and television programs; live shows featuring football games, football exhibitions, and football competitions; live shows featuring music and dance performances; organizing sporting and cultural events featuring football.”
Oh, and: “Play figures; board games; balloons; toys; plush toys; stuffed animals; sporting goods; golf balls; golf bags; golf club covers; footballs; toy banks; Christmas tree ornaments; jigsaw puzzles; toy and decorative windsocks; kites; pet toys; toy vehicles; billiard balls; dart boards; miniature toy helmets; cornhole board games; playing cards; paper party hats”
There are more (a lot more), but our copy/paste keys are burning up and need to sit out the rest of this drive.
The trademark applications don’t necessarily mean the team is intent on relocating to Las Vegas. Such a move would need approval by the other NFL owners, not to mention a full-fledged plan to relocate without interruption.
As Darren Heitner points out for Forbes, the San Diego Chargers applied to trademark “L.A. Chargers” even though that move never materialized.
Instead, this looks like this is probably an attempt by the team to preempt others from trying to claim the trademark. In addition to the trio of applications filed this week by the Oakland team, there are a half-dozen lesser applications — all filed on Jan. 29 or Jan. 30 — the same time it was reported that Raiders owner Mark Davis had been talking to Vegas casino biggie Sheldon Adelson about building a stadium in the Nevada city. The individuals filing those early trademark applications don’t appear to be related in any way to the team.
If any of those applicants attempted to challenge the team’s claim to the Las Vegas Raiders trademark, they would likely face a steep uphill (and expensive) legal battle.