Los Angeles – Superstar Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Lee Griffin III’s bid to trademark his nickname RG3 hit a roadblock when Research Group Three, Inc. filed an opposition to his trademark application, claiming it has been using the trademark RG3 since 1998.
Griffin formed Thr3escompany, LLC in 2012 to develop a label and start producing merchandise bearing his nickname RG3. The Delaware-based company filed its trademark application for RG3 in January 2012 on an intent to use basis for use in relation to apparel. Research Group Three filed its Opposition to this trademark on June 24, 2013, initiating proceedings in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Research Group Three, an Irvine-based corporation, primarily sells motorcycle suspension products but has also developed a line of apparel under the RG3 brand. The company claims that it has been known by the acronym RG3 since its inception in 1998. In its Notice of Opposition, the company argued that Griffin’s use of RG3 would confuse consumers into believing that his apparel was associated with the motorcycle company’s own gear. It argued further that allowing Griffin’s trademark application for RG3 to register would significantly damage the reputation of Research Group Three.
Though the motorcycle products company claims that it has continuously used the mark RG3 on apparel since July 1999, it did not file a trademark application for use on apparel until January 2013. As a result, that application has been stalled on the basis of Griffin’s previously filed RG3 application. The examining attorney for the application wrote that Robert Griffin III and his nickname RG3 are so famous that a consumer would believe any use of RG3 is connected to the football star.
Research Group Three disagrees with this assessment, claiming it began using RG3 in 1999, well before Griffin began use of his nickname. The company argues that it has prior use of RG3 and should therefore be granted the exclusive right to its use.
Thr3escompany has filed a number of other intent to use trademark applications in relation to its apparel brand, which are still pending. These applications include GO CATCH YOUR DREAMS, WORK HARD STAY HUMBLE, and NO PRESSURE NO DIAMONDS.