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May 8, 2014

"GRONK" Trademark Claim Lives On

Last month, the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts ruled that New England Patriots player, Rob Gronkowski, and his two brothers sufficiently alleged claims of trademark infringement against the defendant, Sully Tees, LLC, allowing the football players to proceed with the case.

In Gronk Nation, LLC v. Sully's Tees, LLC, brothers Rob, Christopher, and Daniel Gronkowski - all professional football players - alleged that one or more of them have been well known for their athletic achievements since at least the fall of 2005, and are associated with the word or nickname "Gronk." The brothers established Gronk Nation LLC, and assigned their intellectual property rights in the use of their names, nicknames, images, pictures, likenesses, and trademarks to Gronk Nation. Gronk Nation received Federal Trademark Registrations from the United States Patent & Trademark Office for "GET GRONK'D," "GRONK NATION," and "GRONK" in December 2012. The LLC sells t-shirts in interstate commerce that use these trademarked phrases and derivatives thereof, and donates its profits to a charitable organization that supports youth activities.

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