Guarding Pro Athlete Brands

Law360, New York (December 2, 2011, 1:17 PM EST) -- One of the most lucrative assets a professional athlete has is brand creation. Professional athletes can establish their self-made brands by playing for prominent teams that, in turn, provide them the opportunity to receive sponsorships and other forms of media exposure. An increasingly common and important method for protecting an athlete’s brand is by obtaining a formal trademark for their names, logos and even catchphrases.

Of course, as with virtually all legal tools, one must proceed with caution. People’s perceptions of what a trademark protects are...
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