Friday, July 23, 2010

UFC takes trademarking to new extremes

Just when you thought the UFC's business practices couldn't get any more ridiculous...

The UFC owns trademark rights to a word that is extremely common in combat sports -- 'submission.'

MMA news and rumors site covered the issue today with a brief on Zuffa's interesting literary ownership. The UFC website lists 'submission' as one of it's many one-word registered trademarks. This move is consistent with current trends in trademarking. It seems, in the information age, there's been a rush to stake claim to special common use words.

Other trademark stuff:
  • Comedian/Actor Daman Wayans attempted to trademark the 'N-word' to brand a clothing line, a claim which was denied twice because of it's immoral and demeaning implications.
  • There's been ongoing controversy surrounding Apple's stake in the words 'pad' and 'pod.'
  • Google is currently tied up in legal disputes in Europe and the US over the use of trademarked words in it's 'AdWords' advertisements.
Your probably thinking, 'Wow, this guys used the word 'submission' enough times in this article to stir up a legal case with Zuffa.

Well now, no worries here folks. As long as we don't use the word 'submission' an a manner that is directly associated with Zuffa's intended contextual use of the word, we shouldn't have any problems. In other words, the cops won't be kicking down your doors for using the word 'submssion.'

Zuffa might as well trademark the entire combat sports glossary while they're at it -- TKO, knockout, rear-naked choke, guillotine, arm bar, and triangle choke are all up for grabs!

In Tucson, Arizona there's a giant sign painted on the back of someone's house that says 'Happiness is Submission to God'. If you've ever attended the University of Arizona, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's at the corner of Euclid and 6th next to that liquor store that accepts fake IDs. The sign never specifies what submission from God brings happiness. Perhaps this means any submission from God, in which case I would like God to submit me via Aokiplata. Good luck pulling that one off. The only higher being that can execute that submission rocks technicolor pants and occasionally wears funny glasses.

Now it looks like not even God can use the word 'submission'. Sorry Jesus, that word is owned by ZUFFA now and if you try using it in any one of those fancy religious texts, you're going to have to deal with their legal team.

In today's UFC press-release, I noticed at the end of the email ZUFFA has now claimed the word 'Submission' as a registered trademark.

Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Ultimate Fighting®, UFC®, The Ultimate Fighter®, Submission®, As Real As It Gets®, Zuffa®, The Octagon™ and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks, registered service marks, trademarks, trade dress and/or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC and licensed to its affiliated entities and other licensees in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC, its affiliates or other respective

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