News GFW’s Attempts to Trademark “BROKEN” Gimmick Refused

Discussion in 'Wrestling News Feed' started by Wrestling News, Jul 30, 2017.

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  1. PWInsider reports that all four Broken Universe-related trademarks that were filed by Global Force Wrestling have be given an initial refusal by the United States Patent & Trademark Office for a variety of reasons.

    Matt Hardy filed for the “Broken Matt Hardy” trademark first, which the United States Patent & Trademark Office could see as confusing similar. Global Force Wrestling will need to prove there is no conflict between the two and will also need to indicate whether “Broken Matt” refers to a living person. Matt will have to sign off on it if it does.

    “Brother Nero” was refused because GFW failed to indicate whether or not it was to identify a living person. They will need the consent of Jeff Hardy if it does.

    “Broken Brilliance” was refused because Global Force Wrestling failed to specify whether or not the term has any significance in professional wrestling or if it is just a “term of art” in the wrestling business.

    “Vanguard1” was refused because it is confusingly similar to a non wrestling-related trademark.

    It was also noted that all four trademarks were also refused because it was ruled that the wordings used for identification and classification of goods and services in the initial filing were too broad, thus the USPTO ruled those filings needed additional clarification.

    The post GFW’s Attempts to Trademark “BROKEN” Gimmick Refused appeared first on All Wrestling News.

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  2. Hardly a setback for GFW. This is pretty common in trademark law. They'll try again and I they have plenty Work for Pay precedent behind them.

    Honestly, why am I even commenting on this? I hate the gimmick and really couldn't care less what they do with it. If they show it on WWE, it's not like there isn't 17 more hours of programming each week that I can overlook an annoying gimmick.
  3. Consider the attempts the Anthem Owl made to contain Matthew's Broken Brilliance, DELETED!!! :matt:


    Until the next time
  4. They won't. "GFW" (a.k.a. TNA) is bleeding money at the moment. Anthem might have the money, but even they're not stupid enough to spend more money on getting it fully trademarked. Once it's rejected, it's over. You can talk to USPTO, but your reasoning needs to be more than "Oh, I want to steal Jeff/Matt Hardy's gimmick."
  5. I should be clear that the following isn't my opinion. I personally believe that the Hardys should be able to use the gimmick if they want to. However, my opinion does not dictate intellectual property law.

    It's hardly stealing if you understand intellectual property law. And they will file for it again. Filing is not expensive. Until an actual ownership of intellectual property is legally established, you cannot determine if the intellectual property has been infringed upon. Only when the intellectual property is infringed upon or challenged can it turn into an expensive legal battle. Since Matt Hardy and Anthem are separately claiming ownership and not infringement, this is not going to be expensive. They are not challenging each others claims, they are separately trying to establish ownership. There is a difference.

    This is why WWE hasn't allowed the Hardys to use the gimmick yet. Ownership has not been established legally. If they allowed Matt and Jeff to use the gimmick now and subsequent filings are in favor of Anthem, then WWE could be obligated to pay Anthem for using the gimmick even though it was used before ownership was established. WWE is smart enough to know this because they have done the exact thing several times in the past.

    Intellectual property law is pretty clear that if an employee creates an intellectual property during the course of employment as part of their job duty, then the employer NOT the employee owns the intellectual property. This is the reason GFW has a solid claim to this is because they gave Matt Hardy full creative control over his character, which makes it part of his job to create and develop his character. Since the Broken gimmick was created in the course of employment by Matt Hardy for TNA as part of his employment, the law is actually on Anthem's side, not Matt Hardy's. That is how intellectual property law works. So to call it stealing is not legally correct in any way.

    As the article clearly indicates, the trademarks were not refused because the Hardys own the gimmick. It was because of the poor wording in the request of the trademark. GFW will most definitely refile the trademarks and like it or not, they will likely be able to secure it.
  6. #6 Stone Cold X, Jul 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
    Anthem bought TNA, the TNA name no longer exists. At least not legally. They outright announced it off-tape, before a taping. Something like that. I dunno, but either way, the point is... The name doesn't exist anymore. So, Anthem can't legally "own" the gimmick. Anthem didn't wait on a grace period to allow for trademark transfers, and actually getting the legal footing correct. But now, they have to do it the hard way; "unknown company" trying to take over a gimmick.

    When WWE bought WCW, they allowed the grace period to lapse in conjunction with slowly killing off the actual license to the company. When you file an incorporation, you filed an article of incorporation. It takes 20 to 30 days to get approved. I'm sure you need time to get TNA, L.L.C. to get shut down and/or transfer assets to the new company. I have this knowledge because I own one. It takes time to get everything finalized, it's not as simple as "shut it down, please." Because if you shut down the company, and you didn't do the legwork of moving the trademark assets from company a, to company b, it leaves you vulnerable to exploits. That's what's going on right now. They didn't file the trademark, they didn't copyright this and that, they didn't do any of that legal stuff before the acquisition, so right now... it's more of "he said, she said." Matt/Jeff Hardy is going to court with Anthem over this - I read this just recently, and it looks like it's gotten pretty far that neither side is willing to call it "quits."
    I know this, and I completely understand WWE's position. My problem is that Anthem is not doing the right thing, and trying to bully Matt/Jeff Hardy - even if you don't realize it. It's stealing. It's bullying.

    If this is going to Anthem's favor, then it sets a really, really strong precedent.
    The problem is, TNA is no longer "legal." That means, this whole thing is rendered useless. They have no proof that they (Anthem) "created" the gimmick. If Anthem wanted the gimmick in the first place, they should've just merged the TNA name/company under the umbrella of Anthem. As of right now, the way I see it: They got shit. They got nothing.

    The silver lining here is that Matt Hardy acted first on trademarking the "Broken Matt Hardy" name. So, that'll work in Matt's favor. Anthem was sneaky and was trying to go around the bushes by filing a "Broken Matt" mark.

    *Shakes head.*