What is WWE?
WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) can be traced back as far as 1952 and is an American professional wrestling company. It identifies itself as a ‘global integrated media and entertainment company’, and has features within films, American football, and other business ventures. They are the producers for WrestleMania, a live annual wrestling event between mid-March and mid-April, which is the world’s largest professional wrestling promotion event.
Their collection of events include delivering original content in each week of the year to a global audience with a language choice of over 25. Their programmes have been seen in more than one billion homes, and are currently available in over 180 countries. The WWE Network includes live events, video-on-demand libraries and scheduled programming. It comes as no surprise due to this, that they would want to protect their Intellectual Property rights for a number of different services and goods.
In the last year, in 2022, WWE have trademarked over 130 words and phrases relating to their programming.
This has included the lettering ‘RKO’, which was made famous by WWE wrestler Randy Orton as both his initials (Randy Keith Orton) and his renowned knockout wrestling move. This was filed under Class 28, which includes goods such as toys, namely action figures and accessories for them, toy wrestling rings and playsets, toy vehicles, board games, playing cards, toy belts and many more. The second mark registered was for ‘Sloane Jacobs’; the nickname for WWE wrestler Amelia Herr. This application was filed under the International Class 41, which includes services such as wrestling exhibitions, performances by a professional wrestler, wrestling news and other entertainment services.
Recent fight Trademark applications:
WWE have recently applied for 6 new trademarks to be registered, which are each based on the organisation’s gimmick matches and their stars’ show names.
Three of the marks are for premium live events, including ‘Royal Rumble’, ‘Money in the Bank’, and ‘Elimination Chamber’.
The ‘Jailhouse Street Fight’ is another mark filed and is a new innovation for ‘WWE NXT’ – an American professional wrestling TV programme produced by WWE, which is also being applied for protection. The former mark is one for a brand-new match type known as such. It will feature fighters Tony D’Angelo and Dijak. However, limited details have been released as to what the fight involves. It will be introduced at the next WWE NXT, and is due to be the second new match type in as many months.
‘Fatal 4-way’ is also a mark that has been filed, and is a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event also produced by WWE.
Each of these new filings are for several different services including providing wrestling news, wrestling entertainment and providing a website in the field of sports entertainment information, to name a few.
Recent Trademark application for former WWE wrestling stars:
WWE have also recently filed trademark applications for Dolph Sigger and Drew McIntyre, who have remained active competitors within WWE. McIntyre was released from WWE in 2014 but returned in 2017 and became a main event star in 2020. Ziggler’s WWE career has lasted 15 years, where he has picked up various championships along the way.
Previous stars Ezekiel Jackson and Zack Ryder have also both had their names filed for trademark registration. Ryder currently works under his birth name, Matt Cardona, and has been linked to WWE numerous times. He competed as Ryder with WWE for over 10 years before being released in 2020. Caronda filed to trademark his fighting name, but was denied due to WWE letting the trademark lapse. Jackson, however, began his career in 2008 with WWE, which ended in 2014 due to injuries sustained while fighting.
Each of these stars’ trademark applications were filed on February 23, 2023, and are being sought for the purpose of wrestling exhibitions, fan club services, online sports journals and broadcasting wrestling entertainment services.
Written by Elysia Shirley, Third Year Law Student, Solent University