WWE have been denied the trademarks of names Drew Gulak, Tony Nese and Justus. However, the biggest trademark they have failed to capture is that of former WWE United Kingdom Champion, Pete Dunne.
The trademarks have been turned down because of a lack of written consent from the talent and will be abandoned in six months unless the correct documentation is submitted.
The contract of refusal reads:
Applicant must clarify whether the name [TRADEMARK NAME] in the mark identifies a particular living individual. See 37 C.F.R. §2.61(b); TMEP §§813, 1206.03. In this case, the application neither specifies whether the name in the mark identifies a particular living individual nor includes a written consent. See TMEP §§813.01(a)-(b), 1206.04(a), 1206.05.
To register a mark that consists of or comprises the name of a particular living individual, including a first name, pseudonym, stage name, or nickname, an applicant must provide a written consent personally signed by the named individual. 15 U.S.C. §1052(c); TMEP §§813, 1206.04(a).
Accordingly, if the name in the mark does not identify a particular living individual, applicant must submit a statement to that effect (e.g., “The name shown in the mark does not identify a particular living individual.”).
The news comes days after Inside the Ropes reported that Mia Yim had filed to trademark her own ring name following the reveal that WWE’s ownership of the designation will expire in December following incorrect documentation and ignored letters from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Of course, it’s only natural that wrestlers would want to keep ownership of ring names they have plied their trade under years and even decades prior to being signed by World Wrestling Entertainment.
Pete Dunne – real name Peter England – became a household name on the independent circuit under his current label in 2008. Should a future departure from the company occur, it’s understandable that he and everyone listed would want to be able to use their current names elsewhere.
Currently, ‘The Bruiserweight’ is working backstage in a producer role for NXT UK until the COVID-19 travel ban allows him to return to the United States and NXT. This past Thursday on the British brand, he teamed with Ilja Dragunov to down Imperium members Alexander Wolfe and NXT UK Champion, Walter.
It was Pete Dunne’s first match since the March 11 edition of the black and gold brand, where he and former BroserWeight partner, Matt Riddle, successfully defended their NXT Tag Team Championships against The Undisputed Era.
Inside the Ropes will keep you up to date with any further refusals and acceptances of trademarks.