Another day, another WWE legal battle, though this time the company has a legit case.
The defensive tackle released “Stone Cold Jones” sodas in conjunction with the KC Soda company.
Heel By Nature obtained the legal documents regarding the dispute, including WWE’s complaint and an answer from the Stone Cold Jones soda company.
Here’s the entire complaint from the WWE legal team:
The popularity, success, and recognition of WWE’s STONE COLD Marks are the direct result of the substantial time and money invested by WWE in development, marketing and promotion of the marks.
WWE’s STONE COLD Marks are uniquely and exclusively associated with WWE and have become indelibly linked in the public’s mind in exclusive association with and in exclusive sponsorship by WWE.
WWE has used and continues to use its STONE COLD Marks in connection with its wrestling entertainment services and related goods through its programming which is distributed domestically and internationally through the WWE Network and is available on WWE’s other official online outlets (e.g., wwe.com and WWE’s YouTube channel), and its online merchandise store. WWE’s use of its STONE COLD Marks predates any date of first use upon which Applicant can rely.
Applicant’s “Stone Cold Jones” mark begins with and adopts WWE’s STONE COLD mark in its entirety; is nearly identical in sight, sound and commercial meaning to Opposer’s STONE COLD Marks; and is likely, when used on or in connection with the International Class 25 goods and International Class 41 services set forth in the Stone Cold Jones.
On October 23, Jones filed a response, stating that the name is “recognized as being associated with Jones and that it’s unlikely to create market confusion.”
As a result of Jones’ continuous and exclusive use of the STONE COLD JONES mark since the time of Jones’ first use in or around January 2019 in connection with its products, the Mark enjoys wide public acceptance and association with Chris Jones (“Mr. Jones”), professional football player and pro bowler.
Further, the Mark has come to be recognized widely and favorably by the public as an indicator of the origin of Mr. Jones in conjunction with the National Football League (“NFL”), and more specifically the Kansas City Chiefs—2020 NFL Super Bowl Champions.
Such goodwill and widespread usage has caused the Mark to acquire distinctiveness with respect to Mr. Jones, and caused the Mark to become a valuable asset of Jones
There is no likelihood of confusion, mistake, or deception because, inter alia, the Mark and the alleged trademark of Opposer are not confusingly similar.
The Jones Soda Co. and Stone Cold Brewery are also challenging the trademark on Stone Cold Jones soda.
While Jones does have a point that no one would mistake the defensive tackle for the former WWE star, the federation has a legit gripe since the Stone Cold name is synonymous with Steve Austin and the wrestling promotion.
[via Heel By Nature]
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