California Intellectual Property Blog


Tom Brady Can’t Get Tom Terrific Trademark

San Diego – Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady of the New England Patriots has failed in his attempt to trademark the nickname “Tom Terrific.” While Mr. Brady believed that the outcome would be in his favor, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) denied his request. It was revealed that the USPTO denied Tom Brady’s request because the nickname was already associated with Tom Seaver, the former pitcher for the New York Mets.

The USPTO stated that it denied the application because the “Tom Terrific” nickname would falsely suggest a connection between Mr. Seaver and Mr. Brady. The USPTO stressed that Tom Seaver was “uniquely and unmistakable” the only person that is associated with the “Tom Terrific” nickname.

Tom Brady’s attempt to trademark the nickname came from his two-decade run as the quarterback of the Patriots. Brady’s past Super Bowl victories have led to some New England Patriots fans to refer to Tom Brady as “Tom Terrific.” Mr. Brady has expressed that he does not like the nickname but wanted to prevent third parties from attempting to capitalize on the nickname because it is not trademarked. Tom Brady claims that he wanted to do this for himself as well as Mr. Seaver, to protect both of them from potential losses. Once the trademark application was denied, Brady’s agent Donald H. Yee announced that an incident took place that caused both himself and Mr. Brady to want take action to protect the nickname. Yee also explained, “there was no intention ever to impact Tom Seaver’s legacy.”

Once the decision on the trademark ruling was published, New York Mets fans rejoiced in the failed attempt. While Mets fans do not believe that Tom Brady was acting to protect Seaver’s legacy, they made it clear that Tom Seaver, his family, and his fans can preserve the legacy without the help of Brady.

With Mr. Seaver’s health in decline recently, some find the choice to file the trademark application questionable. In March of this year, the family of Tom Seaver announced that Seaver, now 74 years old, was beginning to suffer from dementia. Mr. Seaver also decided to retire from public life. Mr. Brady’s most recent comments show remorse and regret for his actions, and he has apologized for trying to trademark the “Tom Terrific” name.

As one potential upside, Tom Brady’s trademark attempt brought attention to Tom Seaver as well as his legacy with the New York Mets. This attention has appeared to solidify Tom Seaver as the true “Tom Terrific.”


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