back to article New England Patriots victims of trademark hubris

American football team the New England Patriots applied for a trademark on the phrase 19–0 to represent the 18 games leading up to last Sunday's Super Bowl and the victory they had predicted for themselves. They lost. The Super Bowl is the cup final of American football, the last game of the season in which teams from its two …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You What?



    How the ---- can you trademark that?

    Can I trade mark the phrase "You suck c--ks!" I mean even though it's in regular use it obviously doesn't matter...

    19 f---ing 0... f---ing morons.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Re: You What?

    > Can I trade mark the phrase "You suck c--ks!"

    Well, if there's something distinctive about the way you suck c--ks that makes people think of you when they see or hear that phrase...

    Paris, obviously.

  3. Steve Evans

    Oh yes it's such an unusual event...

    Until you remove your head from your arse (ass) and look at the outside world...

    19-0 is a perfectly reasonable score in Rugby for example. If that happened to be an England vs France match, then would we be prevented from rubbing

    Gaelic noses in it from our T-shirts because of a ill-conceived US granted Patent?

    Google for "19-0", there's plenty of previous examples... Although I do have to feel a little pity for the sucker who paid up for

  4. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    @Steve Evans

    Trademark, not patent.

    And 19-0 as in number of games won, not the score in a single match. The equivalent might be Man City winning every match they played in the premiership. Assuming they could get into the premiership.

    If you're going to make fun of our cousins across the water then at least get your facts straight, otherwise you end up looking like a complete tit.

  5. Chris

    @Graham Dawson

    Pot. Kettle. Etc.

    If you're going to make a comment about a team being able to get into the Premiership, at least make sure you pick one that isn't actually in the Premiership and really doing quite well, otherwise you end up looking like a complete tit.

  6. Alan Wray

    @Graham Dawson

    That'll be Man.City who are currently 6th in the premiership. Facts straightened...

  7. Colin MacLean

    @ G Dawson

    Aren't Man City already in the Premiership or are my facts also skewed?

  8. nicholas king

    @G Dawson

    apart from your example being plain wrong as there are more than 19 games a season in the prem and man city are in the prem and have been for several years.

    i think the argument is how can you trademark a numeric score or stat? i mean can man utd trademark 9-0 for their record score in the premiership match against ipswich?

    also what happens if another team goes 19-0 are they in breach of trademark for calling it 19-0??

  9. TheHempKnight
    Black Helicopters

    Reeks of RIAA...

    "They wouldn't necessarily have been going out and selling stuff with 19 and 0 all over it, it would have been more of a defensive registration to stop other people from making money off it with t-shirts that said 19–0 on them"

    Sounds like an excuse that will inspire the (FU)RIAA to inflict more BS on us under the same kind of lame excuses.

  10. Spleen

    Other uses than rugby

    Interestingly, 19 is the only score in the card game cribbage that is impossible to attain with a single hand under the maximum of 29 (four fives and a jack in the hand with the same suit as the turn-up). Hence, when scoring, saying 'Nineteen' means 'I got nothing'. 19 = 0. Ok, maybe not that interesting if you don't play cribbage.

    Whether it has any relevance to trademark law I dunno, but it's pretty dubious to claim that the numbers 19 and 0 can only be associated with the Pastries or whatever they're called.

  11. Mark

    Re: Re: You What?

    So what about someone winning 19-0 in rugby? Or in a single game of american football?

    And if "how distinctive you suck c--ks" is what you need BEFORE you can trademark "you such c--ks", then how distinctively did the patriots play if they'd gotten 19-0? Would someone else winning 19-0 in a different way (like, say, using a different team..?) be clear? If someone was using "19-0" in a manner that wasn't to do with the patriots be clear because that's a distinctly different use of "19-0"?

    And can we patent "three-nil" and stop the man C fans chanting it when they're beating the bottom of the league players? Smug gits....

  12. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    I admit...

    I am a tit. :)

    I haven't watched football for years.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also in US sports

    It seems to me that some years ago the basketball coach Pat Riley, then with the LA Lakers, trademarked "ThreePeat", only to find his team unable to win a third consecutive NBA championship.

  14. Laurie
    Thumb Up

    Well done to Graham Dawson

    For 'fessing up with honesty and good humour that he'd got it a little bit wrong.

    In the unlikely event that any of our political overlords are reading this: Please note this is how it should be done when you get found out.

  15. Stew Abel

    not happy pats fan

    I can't seem to look anywhere without the fact that we lost the superbowl being rubbed in! And how great it would have been if we'd actually gone 19-0®

  16. Joshua Feinberg

    NFL is big IP business

    This is pretty interesting. Anyone know if the Miami Dolphins who claimed a similar record in 1972 ever did/considered this kind of thing?

    I know I read something interesting about the NFL and SuperBowl related trademarks on WikiPedia a few weeks back.


    You really can't deny however that it was a great super-close game.

    Well... great I guess only if you're a Giants fan.

    Joshua Feinberg

  17. Anonymous Coward

    The gaming gods got their revenge (19-0 indeed!)

    The big story isn't that the Boston Patriots trademarked "19-0", it's that they did it a week BEFORE actually playing the game. That's just outrageous hubris. But fortunately, by doing so, they angered the gaming gods. I've never seen a football team so lucky as the NY Giants in that game.

    And yes, I live in NY and work in NYC.... couldn't get to the ticker-tape parade on Tuesday but a number of my co-workers were mysteriously sick ... I'll get my jacket now.

  18. Jason

    Patriots Ownership/Management

    This sadly just reaffirms the type of "leadership" that the Patriots have. The "try to win at all costs" or "get every last cent wherever you can" mentality is unfortunately all too common in pro sports nowdays, as see earlier this year from the taping scandal (which now turns out has been going on for a few years, ordered by the owners/management). Everythings a trademark for more money or and angle where you can "bend" the rules to have an advantage; whatever happened to just getting good atheletes to play the game? (yeah yeah, it's all a business now ><)

    Gratz to the Giants for playing great through the playoffs and getting a well deserved SB victory.

  19. J
    Thumb Up


    Haha, they trademarked it and... Makes it even better.

    The only Am. football game I watch during the whole year is the Super Bowl, and I guess this was the only one I needed to watch, really. Mind you, if I had turned the TV on just as the game started, I would have been neutral -- I had no reason to root for either. But I happened to turn it on 45 minutes before... those TV guys wouldn't stop licking the pretty boy's arse, and I wondered how nice it would be if they lost after all that... Happily for everyone I've talked to here in VA so far, I got my wish.

  20. Chris C

    Stupid quote

    ""It would have been a phrase that sporting fans would definitely have associated with the New England Patriots," he said."

    I'm sure there are many (probably the majority) of sporting fans, even in the U.S., who would never equate "19-0" with the New England Patriots. Hell, 19-0 isn't even impressive in sports. It might be in American football. But 19-0 is quite possible, and not such a grand feat, in other sports such as hockey and baseball.

    To even suggest that sporting fans would definitely have associated "19-0" with the New England Patriots is so ridiculous that this guy should be forced to wear the dunce cap in public so we know to avoid him.

  21. John W. Naylor, Jr., P.E.

    Cart B4 da Horse

    Maybe instead of setting themselves up for a lifelong royalties income they should have watched a bit more tape and figured out how to play against the Giants. Instead they got rocked in every facet of the game....lucky ?....the Patriots were lucky the score wasn't 31 -14. Sacked 5 times, knocked down 9 times, a dozen or so more pressures, 45 yards rushing.....the Patriots offense was dismal.

    Few noticed that he Giants had their two best defensive players on the sidelines during the Patriots 4th quarter drive. The young Manning missed two wide open receivers who could have easily garnered big gains. I watched the game as a fan of neither team but it was as one sided a 3 point win as I have ever seen. The Patriots are a better team than they played. The primary reason for the loss was that they were badly outcoached.

    Toomer got away with a blatant foul on his catch but the Patriots benefited from a TV timeout which gave them the opportunity to offer a challenge on the 12th man on field call. There was also a lot of blatant forearms to the head thrown by Patriots defense which wasn't called. Not to mention the Patriot's interception where the Giant's receiver picked the ball from a few inches off the turf and tossed it into the Patriot's defender's hands.

    A fan of either side could argue that the other team got lucky breaks but there were well distributed on both sides. The way I saw the game was an erratic Giant's offense managed to score points on a pretty darn good defensive team. The Giant's defense however completely overwhelmed and dominated one of the best offensive units ever and that's how the game must be remembered. It was the most watched SB of all time and they played a game well deserving of the designation. Bellichek walking off the field, with one second left on the clock, was not the big deal it was made out to be by the press but was the biggest sour note of the day.

  22. Spleen

    Sudden (if late) thought

    If I were the Patriots (what a stupid name for a team - me, I've been a Manchester Nationalists fan since the Bristol BNP Members got relegated), I'd've been already been printing the '19-0' T-shirts and hats. Premature, maybe, but demand is going to be highest immediately after the win. Any amount of money is worth the outside possibility of being laughed at for counting chickens.

    If a canny warehouse employee manages to sneak a box into his van before they're all incinerated, he could be making a lot of money on eBay from Giants fans looking for a sporting 'Dewey beats Truman' memento.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    It was only..

    ..American football. If it had been proper football then I could understand it.

This topic is closed for new posts.