Monday, April 29, 2013

RG3 Trademark Dispute

Photo: Washington Post
   In 1998, a motorcycle suspension parts business was founded. The basis of the company is to sell parts and services to professional and amateur riders. Rob Henricksen, the founder, came up with the name Research Group 3 for his company. This name has long been known by the initials of "RG3," however. Now think about football in this case. Notice anything familiar? Franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III also has the nickname of "RG3," which means there is a problem.
   As Robert Griffin III was transitioning from a college star into a professional starter in the NFL, he made sure to protect his brand by filing paperwork with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the phrases "RGIII" and "RG3" for use on all apparel. Henricksen is now filing an extension of time with the Trademark Office to oppose both of Griffin III's filings.
   "We don't want to have any confusion in the marketplace, and we're sure he doesn't, either," said Catherine Holland, an intellectual property lawyer who is representing the company. She also says that the company is not trying to profit from the quarterback and wishes him the best in his career.
   The situation is quite complicated and could get very sticky. To any football fan, especially living in the DC area, the phrase "RG3" means only one thing; Robert Griffin III — not a suspension parts company. Hopefully a settlement will be reached between the two parties very soon.