A Former Jaguars NFL Player Claims He Owns the Trademark “Sacksonville”
Los Angeles – A trademark quarrel has arisen over who owns the term “Sacksonville.” In 2015, Dan Skuta of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars applied to trademark the term “Sacksonville”. The application was later abandoned in 2016. Skuta originally signed a five-year contract for $20.5 million with the Jaguars in 2015 but was later cut from the team early in 2017.
On October 18, 2017, the Jaguars filed a trademark application for #SACKSONVILLE for goods and services including shirts and entertainment services. On May 3, 2018 Skuta re-filed a trademark application for SACKSONVILLE for shirts and decals, and then on May 4, 2018 Skuta filed a Notice of Opposition against the Jaguars’ application with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
According to Skuta’s trademark attorney, he has been using the name “@Sacksonville” on Instagram since 2015 and has sold more than $3,000 in products featuring the Sacksonville logo. A Jaguars’ spokeswoman states that she is unable to comment “as we’ve been in active discussions with Dan Skuta and his representatives for some time to develop a resolution to this matter.”
In the Notice of Opposition, Skuta states that the Jaguars have actively supported Mr. Skuta’s effort to pursue his commercial use of the trademark ‘Sacksonville’ including on the Jaguar’s social media accounts. Skuta states that the team never objected to his use of the trademark Sacksonville. However, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has initially refused Skuta’s application, stating that his products “strongly suggest a connection between applicant’s goods and the Jacksonville Jaguars.”
Skuta is not the first person to try to trademark the term “Sacksonville.” Engine 15 Brewing Company filed an application to trademark the term earlier this year in relation to beer, and current Jacksonville Jaguar defensive end Calais Campbell’s wife filed a trademark application for “Mayor of Sacksonville” for goods and services including apparel, sports memorabilia, and charitable services. The mayor of Jacksonville Lenny Curry had given Campbell this name in a public announcement.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has also initially refused to register the Mayor of Sacksonville trademark due to a false association with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Office Action also cited the Jacksonville Jaguars’ prior filed #SACKSONVILLE trademark application as a likely bar to registration. As for Engine 15 Brewing’s application for beer, the Jaguars have requested an extension to oppose the application.