Welcome back to the "Spotlight!" One of the many peculiarities of the English language is the phrase, “family business.” The phrase can refer to a business that is owned and/or operated by several family members. It can also refer to private matters generally dealt with amongst family members. More recently, in the sports world, “family” and “business” seem to have been colliding. A few weeks ago, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal’s brand management firm, Authentic Brands Group, opposed a trademark application by his son, Shaqir O’Neal’s representatives on the grounds that a trademark for Shaqir O’Neal would cause a likelihood of confusion with the elder O’Neal’s trademark for “Shaquille O’Neal.” This of course fits with Shaquille’s championing a work ethic to his children—“we ain’t rich, I’m rich.” For the famous parents out there, if it was not hard enough to agree with one’s partner on a baby son or daughter’s name, it seems you might also be wise to involve a trademark attorney in those discussions. Not to be outdone, after encountering difficulty obtaining a trademark registration for his name, NBA star Luka Doncic is embroiled in a dispute with his mother over her continued ownership of the registration for the trademark LUKA DONCIC7 (which was cited by the United States Patent and Trademark Office as grounds for its registration refusal). The rub is that the trademark, LUKA DONCIC7 was previously obtained with Doncic’s consent. Doncic is seeking to revoke that consent and to argue that the registration should be cancelled both on those grounds and due to non-use. Peering into my crystal ball, the most likely winners in these sagas will be lawyers…and therapists. I guess such is life when your family business gets aired in the "Spotlight."
- Jack Daniel’s and McLaren Racing toast to an F1 sponsorship deal, because nothing goes together better than Tennessee whiskey and driving at 200 miles per hour.
- Major League Soccer club Real Salt Lake City inks a stadium naming rights deal with America First Credit Union, rebranding the Utah stadium, “America First Field” to the tune of about $100 million. With that money, the Club will be able to erect a wall around the borders of the field.
- With a trademark filing for NFT-backed music, Sony Music Entertainment looks poised to separate itself from the pack and find new ways to separate consumers from their money with a pivot towards Web3 and the Metaverse.