WWE Involved In Legal Dispute Over 'Stone Cold' Trademark With NFL Player Chris Jones

WWE is in a trademark dispute with NFL player Chris Jones over "Stone Cold."

Jones, a defensive tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs, has a line of “Stone Cold Jones Soda," which WWE believed infringes on their "Stone Cold" and "Stone Cold Steve Austin" trademarks. WWE filed a complaint on September 14, opposing the trademark.

The complaint (via HeelByNature) reads:

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

Jones and Stone Cold LLC responded on October 23, believing there is no 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.

Jones has been using the Mark and developing consumer recognition and goodwill therein since at least January 2019, such use being open, notorious, and known to Opposer and such knowledge, in turn, being known to Jones. Throughout this time, Opposer has failed to take meaningful action to assert the claims on which it bases this Opposition, on which inaction Jones has relied to its detriment. Opposer’s claims are consequently barred by the doctrines of laches, acquiescence, and estoppel.

Any and all acts alleged to have been committed by Jones were performed with lack of knowledge and lack of willful intent.

Jones Soda Co. and Stone Cold Brewery have also filed disputes over the name. The company has yet to answer their respective complaints.

In other WWE trademark news, the company filed two new trademarks on "Sin Cara" in relation to merchandise. The descriptions read:

Goods & Services: Toys, namely, action figures, accessories therefor; dolls; cases for action figures; toy wrestling rings; toy vehicles; board games; hand-held units for playing electronic game other than those adopted for use with an electronic display screen or monitor; tabletop action skill games; playing cards; puzzles; stuffed toys; plush toys; toy belts; knee and elbow pads for athletic use; toy foam hands; costume masks; costume masks; novelty face masks; Christmas tree decorations.

Goods & Services: Cardboard and paper hangtags; packaging, namely blister cards; paper for wrapping and packaging; collector albums for sticker collectables; stickers; sticker albums; collectable photos; photo albums; photographs; framed pictures; labels, namely printed paper labels; folders; paper place mats, paper table mats, paper napkins; paper tablecloths; paper table linens; paper lunch bags; postcards; greeting cards; pictures; calendars; posters; decals; temporary tattoo transfers; trading cards; brochures, magazines and newspapers concerning sports entertainment; coloring books; children's activity books; souvenir programs concerning sports entertainment; books concerning sports entertainment; books featuring pictorial biographies; comic books; picture books; book covers; paper book markers; notebooks; memo pads; note pads; date books; address books; agenda books; markers; pens; pencils; calendars; pencil sharpeners; pencil cases; rubber stamps; stamp pads; chalks; paper banners; printed paper signs for doors; drawing rulers; erasers, rubber erasers, chalk erasers, blackboard erasers; bumper stickers; window decals; lithographs; paper party bags; paper party favors; stencils for tracing designs onto paper; paper gift wrap; paper cake decorations; paper; stationery; indoor ornaments of paper

Sin Cara was released by WWE in December 2019.

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