Just last week, on February 18, 2015, Seattle Seahawks superstar running back Marshawn Lynch (“Lynch”), also known as Beast Mode, filed for a federal trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for his now famous quote—“I’M JUST HERE SO I WON’T GET FINED.” For those of you who are not big NFL fans, Lynch coined his now signature phrase during the Super Bowl XLIX Media Day. This did not come as a huge shock to most NFL fans because Lynch has developed a reputation for avoiding the media and refusing to fulfill the media obligations of one of the league’s brightest superstars. However, in the face of the NFL’s threat of a $50,000 fine if he refused to participate in Super Bowl XLIX Media Day, Lynch decided to play ball. In response to over 20 proffered questions, Lynch simply responded, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”
This caused quite the outrage from the media and certain sports fans—mostly 49er fans (we all know how they adore the Seahawks), who found Lynch’s conduct unprofessional and disrespectful. But, say what you will about Lynch’s unprofessional conduct and disregard for his obligations as an NFL superstar, the fact is the man knows how to exploit and protect his own intellectual property.
Continue Reading IP in the NFL: “I’m Just Here So I Won’t Get Fined,” or Are You?