WWE In Trademark Battle For Use Of ‘Big Time Becks’

Photo Credit: WWE

WWE is in a trademark battle.

Back in the fall of 2021 WWE filed to trademark the term ‘Big Time Becks,” which was the nickname used by one of the company’s top superstars, Becky Lynch. This was specific to the former multi-time champion’s heel run that year.

However, someone opposed the trademark just nine days after WWE filed and legal proceedings have been ongoing ever since, with a discovery conference being ordered in March of this year. While the board did advise WWE and the other party to use the Accelerated Case Resolution process, the motion document reveals that the battle could go deep into 2025. You can read that below.

Applicant was made aware of Opposer’s “Bigtime” Trademark as far back as 2006 when Opposer, through his attorney, sent a cease and desist to Applicant due to their infringement of Opposer’s “Bigtime” Trademark at that time. Applicant’s attorney of record, Lauren Middlen- Dienes, had extensive communication with Opposer’s attorney and subsequently offered a monetary settlement during those communications, of which was not accepted.

Regarding this current matter, Opposer has been in communication with Applicant’s Attorney of Record, Lauren Middlen-Diennes, directly and through his Attorney since September 22nd, 2021. A mere 9 calendar days after Applicant filed Application Serial No. 97024008 for the “Big Time Becks” mark on September 13th, 2021. Applicant has been aware of Opposer’s opposition to their application for over 2 years as well as Opposer’s intent to legally oppose Applicant’s application. Applicant responded to Opposer’s cease and desist request of 2021 by hiring the Law Firm of K & L Gates and having Attorney Christopher Verdini communicate directly with Opposer and then with Opposer’s attorneys beginning September 29th, 2021. Opposer’s attorney made Applicant’s attorney Verdini aware via written communication that Applicant’s continued infringing use of the “Big Time Becks” mark with full knowledge of Opposer’s Rights rendered that infringing use as willful and intentional. Applicant’s attorney Verdini opened settlement discussions that included monetary considerations at that time, stated that he’d take the settlement request back to his client, and then follow up with Opposer’s attorney. Since March 2022, Applicant’s attorney never communicated with Opposer or his attorneys again. Subsequently Opposer filed with the USPTO two (2) separate Letters of Protest against Applicant’s application in 2022, one of which can be found in the prosecution history dated February 17th, 2022. Opposer also filed a 90 day extension of time to oppose Applicant’s application on August 17th, 2023. Opposer initiated Opposition Proceedings on November 15th, 2023. Applicant was repeatedly made aware over the course of nearly 2 years and 4 months that an Opposition was imminent and that Applicant would need to respond to an Opposition by Opposer.

Applicant receives email notification updates from the USPTO on their Application the same as Opposer receives updates from the USPTO on his Opposition proceeding. Opposer is one person. Applicant is a multi-billion dollar LLC that is part of an even larger multi-billion Corporation. Applicant changed their business structure from a Corporation to an LLC due to recently being purchased for 9 Billion Dollars. Applicant has a massive and extensive legal department that employs hundreds of lawyers, paralegals, and various office staff. Applicant is trying to claim that while having a legal department of that massive size, they missed the last day of a 40 day deadline due to Christmas. This application, if approved, is worth tens of millions of dollars in merchandising alone for the Applicant. It is not plausible that a company of Applicant’s size with a massive legal department could be incompetent to the level that Applicant’s Response claims to be. Applicant was notified by the USPTO on November 15th, 2023 that an opposition had been initiated and was given 40 days in which to file an Answer. They had 39 calendar days to file an answer previous to the Christmas Day deadline. Additionally, Applicant admits in their Response that they did not become aware of the December 25th, 2023 deadline until the Motion for Default Judgment was filed on January 3rd, 2024. Therefore Applicant cannot claim that they intended to file the Answer by the deadline if they admit that they didn’t know what the deadline was until nine (9) calendar days later. Furthermore, Applicant did not retain their current attorney until after the deadline, as is evidenced by their attorney not having filed a Notice of Appearance until January 8th, 2024, fourteen (14) calendar days after the deadline. These facts clearly show that Applicant had no intention of filing an Answer by the required deadline of December 25th, 2023. These facts also clearly show that the deadline falling on Christmas Day had no relevance to their late filing since they did not immediately file their Answer on December 26th, 2023 as allowed under the Manual of Examining Procedure Chapter 505 Date of Receipt Stamp [R-07.2015] which says in relevant part:

“When the last day for taking any action or paying any fee in the Office falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a Federal holiday within the District of Columbia, the action or the fee is considered timely if the action is taken or the fee is paid on the next succeeding business day.”

Coupled with Applicant’s awareness of Opposer’s Trademark Rights since 2006 and notification since September 22nd 2021 that Opposer opposed and intended to legally oppose Applicant’s registration of the “Big Time Becks” mark, Applicant’s attempt to blame the failure to answer on one (1) day, the Christmas Day deadline, is disingenuous, deceitful, and amounts to willful conduct and gross neglect.

Because of this battle WWE’s official trademark on ‘Big Time Becks’ is still listed as pending.

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