You may know him as the first overall NFL draft pick of 2019, or the number one scoring quarterback in fantasy football, or you may not know him at all because you don’t watch sports. Either way, his name is Kyler Murray, and he is the quarterback for the NFL team Arizona Cardinals. And whether you are an avid sports fan or not, you can appreciate the fact that Murray might lead his team to the 2020 Super Bowl. This season alone, he has thrown for 2,644 passing yards, ran for 619 rushing yards, and scored 29 total touchdowns. At only 23, he is the first and only player drafted in the first round of both the NFL and MLB drafts. The Cardinals signed him for $35 million and are definitely getting their money’s worth. In week 10 of this current NFL season, Kyler threw a 43-yard Hail Mary, a pass that is usually long and a last resort effort to score, for a game winning play against the Buffalo Bills. Assumably one of the best plays of the year, Kyler is trying to cash in on that incredible moment, with the play being the dubbed the “Hail Murray.” Recently, Kyler applied for the trademark “Hail Murray” and “Murray Magic,” a fun play off of his famous last name, to put on apparel and use in entertainment services. As of today, Kyler is awaiting an answer from the United States Patent and Trademark Office as they are in the process of examining his trademark.
What Specifically Would Murray Want to Trademark?
You might be asking yourself, why would Murray want to trademark “Hail Murray” and “Murray Magic?” Trademarks are used to identify the seller of the product and distinguish the product from other items being sold on the market. So Murray obtaining either trademark will allow fans (and maybe foes) to know that a hat or a particular website is Murray’s official product. Thus, when football fans purchase a “Hail Murray” shirt, they know that it came from and supports Kyler Murray. Even further, wearing this shirt indicates that the consumer only associates themselves with who they think is “the best of the best.” What if Murray didn’t apply for a trademark? Another team, say their division rival the Seattle Seahawks, could make apparel mocking the “Murray Magic” theme.
Can it be Trademarked?
To be successful, a trademark must “identify and distinguish” the good that is being sold. Does the word “Murray,” in addition to the terms “Magic” and “Hail,” identify and distinguish the apparel and entrainments services that Murray will provide? Maybe, maybe not. But what we do know is that all registered trademarks fall within five categories. These categories are based on the mark’s strength; thus, the stronger the mark, the more likely the trademark law will protect it. “Murray Magic” and “Hail Murray” likely fall into the category of the suggestive mark. A suggestive mark does not describe the product, but the word used in the trademark is suggestive of the product. This is likely to be protected by trademark law. So, seeing “Hail Murray” on apparel suggests that the product will support Murray and his team, the Cardinals. Or even that the wearer only strives and achieves perfection. The more suggestive, the better chance that Murray has in a successful trademark.
Can I be like Murray?
While you might not have the skills to throw a football 43 yards for a game-winning touchdown, you can trademark your brand. You can trademark phrases, words, or even colors. Essentially, a trademark is an easy way to protect your brand. Eden Law Firm is a national boutique law firm helping entrepreneurs protect their assets, increase their brand, and stay out of court. The firm’s partner Rachel Brenke has years of experience in trademark registration, policing trademarks, and can evaluate and discuss your chosen business trademark. Be like Murray; let your fans know that your trademark indicates the type of services and quality they will receive in doing business with you.
Written by Lindsay M. Thomas