US Patent & Trademark Office
The Nets have moved aggressively over the last several years to trademark virtually every combination of "Brooklyn" and "basketball", including the "Brooklyn Nets" but have not sought trademark protection on any team name other than "Brooklyn Nets" and "New York Nets", a NetsDaily survey of federal trademark filings shows.
The first trademark application for "Brooklyn Nets" was submitted on January 22, 2004, the day after Bruce Ratner reached a deal to buy the team and move them to Brooklyn. Since then, the Nets have moved to register trademarks for "New York Nets", "Brooklyn Hoops", "Brooklyn Basketball", "Brooklyn B-Ball" and both "BKLYN" and "BKLYN BBALL". Among the reasons: the Nets expect Brooklyn-branded gear to be among the three or best selling in the league.
As previously reported, the team's most recent filing gives the clearest indication of what a Nets logo might take once the team moves to Brooklyn. The logo is stylized, featuring the word, "bklyn", in Rockwell Extra Bold font and featuring a basketball in the team's colors, blue grey and red and a basketball. It was filed in April of last year and "published for opposition", a major step in the long registration process, two weeks ago.
Although the team could use outside lawyers to file trademarks for other names or logos--even in other countries, there is no indication of that. The only other application for a Brooklyn team name, the "Brooklyn New Yorkers", was filed by a group of Philadelphia lawyers. Team officals, while not denying a connection publicly, privately dismiss the the idea. Team officials have said the team will be named "Brooklyn".
In virtually every case, the trademarks have been sought for apparel of all sorts, live and recorded games and online services. As is typical, the protections are sought for as wide as possible use.This filing sought protection for "Brooklyn Nets" filed on November 16, 2009
"Clothing, namely, hosiery, footwear, basketball shoes, basketball sneakers, T-shirts, shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, pants, tank tops, jerseys, shorts, pajamas, sport shirts, rugby shirts, sweaters, belts, ties, nightshirts, hats, caps, visors, warm-up suits, warm-up pants, warm-up tops, shooting shirts, jackets, wind resistant jackets, parkas, coats, baby bibs not of paper, head bands, wrist bands, aprons, undergarments, boxer shorts, slacks, ear muffs, gloves, mittens, scarves, woven and knit shirts, jersey dresses, dresses, cheerleading dresses and uniforms, swim wear, bathing suits, swimsuits, bikinis, tankinis, swim trunks, bathing trunks, board shorts, wet suits, beach cover-ups, bathing suit cover-ups, bathing suit wraps, sandals, beach sandals, beach hats, sun visors, swim caps, bathing caps, novelty headwear with attached wigs."
There have been several periods of intense activity at the Trademark Office, in March 2007, May 2008 and November 2009, the last just after Mikhail Prokhorov agreed to buy the team and days before the state of New York won its key eminent domain case before the New York Court of Appeals.