Sports Law Blog
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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

'He Hate Me' Trademarked by Smart: Last night's SportsCenter included a feature on Rod Smart of the Carolina Panthers, who played one season in the XFL under the moniker 'He Hate Me' (click here for picture). This gained Smart enormous exposure, both during after the days of the XFL, including yesterday at Super Bowl Media Day. ESPN's Chris Mortenson asked Smart if he had trademarked 'He Hate Me' and Smart replied, "Yeah, it's all mine."

I thought this was a joke until I visited the US Patent and Trademark Office website. It turns out that Smart has indeed trademarked 'He Hate Me' in category 41 (which includes entertainment services). The mark was published for opposition on July 15 of this year. If you go to this page and enter 'he hate me' in the search term box, you can pull up Smart's record.

After seeing all of the attention he has gained this season, Smart looks just that for trademarking the phrase. The question now becomes if he will be able to prove "continued use" as required to maintain the mark under federal law. Most likely, the answer is yes, as he has plans to produce some merchandise in association with the Super Bowl trip. You can read more about Trademark requirements here.