Following WWE’s recent purchase of EVOLVE and signing several of its wrestlers, the company is now facing some trademark issues.
As reported by HeelByNature, the United States Patent & Trademark Office has refused WWE’s application to trademark ‘EVOLVE’ due to complications regarding previous applications.
In November of 2019, WWN owner Salem Hamaoui applied for the trademark. WWN owned EVOLVE at the time.
However, Hamaoui’s application was refused: “Registration is refused because the specimen does not show the applied-for mark in use in commerce in connection with any of the goods and/or services specified in the application.”
Hamaoui never responded to the refusal and the trademark was subject to abandonment.
On August 4, WWE filed a notice to revive the application and change ownership, thus transferring the application over to WWE.
However, the USPTO issued the following response on August 25:
“Applicant seeks to register the mark EVOLVE with a design for entertainment services, namely, wrestling exhibits and performances by a professional wrestler and entertainer. The registered mark is EF EVOLVED FIGHTS MIXED WRESTLING with a design and disclaimer of FIGHTS and MIXED WRESTLING for providing a website featuring entertainment information in the field of adult entertainment.
The registered mark is EF EVOLVED FIGHTS MIXED WRESTLING with a design and disclaimer of FIGHTS and MIXED WRESTLING. Applicant’s mark is EVOLVE with a design. Although marks are compared in their entireties, one feature of a mark may be more significant or dominant in creating a commercial impression. Greater weight is often given to this dominant feature when determining whether marks are confusingly similar. Because consumers use the literal portions of marks to call for the services, word elements dominate over designs. Thus, EVOLVE is the dominant portion of the applied-for mark. Similarly, because disclaimed terms are less distinctive, non-descriptive/disclaimed terms dominate the recollection of consumers. Since EF merely reinforces EVOLVED FIGHTS, EVOLVED is the dominant portion of the registered mark. The dominant portions of the marks are very similar: EVOLVE versus EVOLVED.
Applicant’s services are entertainment services, namely, wrestling exhibits and performances by a professional wrestler and entertainer. The registered mark is for providing a website featuring entertainment information in the field of adult entertainment. The adult entertainment featured in the registered mark is MIXED WRESTLING, as evinced by the disclaimer of the wording. Applicant’s wrestling exhibits and performances are provided not only by a professional wrestler, but by an “entertainer” who may potentially provide adult entertainment that is the subject of registrant’s services. It is important to note that registrant’s mixed wrestling is within the scope of applicant’s wrestling exhibitions.”
WWE has six months to respond.