By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - Thou shalt not Tebow, for the wages of Tebowing is trademark infringement.
A management and consulting firm representing New York Jets back-up quarterback and evangelical sports icon Tim Tebow has moved one step closer to holding the trademark "Tebowing" for use on things as widespread as clothing, pencil sharpeners and holiday ornaments.
Tebow has long been very public about his Christian faith. In college, he sported Bible verses on his eye black, which the NCAA went on to ban after his graduation. Tebow invoked God frequently at news conferences and wrote at length about his faith and growing up the son of evangelical missionaries the Philippines in an autobiography.
"Tebowing" became part of the American lexicon when Tebow, then a second year player for the Denver Broncos, was photographed bowing in prayer in the end zone on one knee, helmeted head bowed a top a clenched fist. It quickly became an Internet meme.
One of the first to start the meme was Jared Kleinstein, a Denver-born Broncos fan, living in New York. He started a website, www.tebowing.com, defining Tebow as a verb: “To get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.” He posted a photo of himself "Tebowing."
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Tebow approved of the growing phenomenon at the time writing, “Love it,” on his Twitter account.
A paper trail of documents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office shows that soon after the meme caught fire last year, Kleinstein filed to trademark "Tebowing" and began to sell apparel with the phrase on it.
XV Enterprises, a marketing and consulting firm, protested Kleinstein's application through California attorney Anthony M. Keats in October. Trademark records show Tebow is the sole shareholder of XV Enterprises, which is thought to represent the Roman numerals for his longtime football jersey number, 15.
In a letter of protest, Keats wrote to the Trademark office that consumers would incorrectly think the goods were connected to Tebow or his charity the Tim Tebow Foundation.
"Inevitably, in today's commercial arena of sports marketing, consumers will be led to believe that at a minimum, Tim Tebow or the Tim Tebow Foundation has approved of all of the third-party applicant's goods in the context of licensing; or, what is even more damaging, that Tim Tebow is actually connected with or associated with the goods of the cited applicants when he is not," Keats wrote.
On February 22, the trademark office issued a refusal of registration to Kleinstein's application, saying the material he hoped to trademark, "includes matter which falsely suggests a connection with Tim Tebow. Accordingly, registration is refused under Trademark Act Section 2(a)."
After Kleinstein's Tebowing trademark attempt was rejected, Tebow's team of advisers appear to have stepped in to claim the trademark.
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An August 21 Trademark Application shows a letter signed by Tebow giving his consent to the "use and registration" by XV Enterprises LLC "of my nickname TEBOWING as a trademark and/or service mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office." The filing also shows that Tim Tebow is the sole shareholder of XV Enterprises LLC.
On October 9, the trademark, now showing XV Enterprises LLC as the owner, was published for opposition. That means anyone who wants to oppose the registration has 30 days to do so. If no one does, or the opposition is deemed by trademark office to be unsubstantiated, then Tim Tebow will officially own Tebowing.
Newsday, which was among the first to report on the issue, quoted Tebow as saying, "It got hyped up as Tebowing, so [the trademark] was more to just control how it's used, make sure it's used in the right way."
Explain it to me: John 3:16
U.S. Patent and Trademark office records show in the past year a number of applications for Tebow-related trademarks have come up and been smacked down.
In July, records show, the trademark office refused an application by Michael Dachs of Merrick, New York, who sought a trademark for the name and logo "Lord and Tebow" for T-shirts and apparel that mimicked the logo of the department store Lord and Taylor.
The trademark office refused that claim because the logo was "virtually identical" to the Lord & Taylor logo. They also said in their rejection that consumers could "falsely suggest a connection with Tim Tebow ... Tim Tebow is so famous that consumers would presume a connection."
It does not matter WHY he is doing it. It is just. plain. stupid.
I wanted to trademark meatball sandwiches, but I don't have no damn money.
Stop using the name of GOD and making the sign of the cross....I have just patent it. Is that all it takes to end the christians? Next I will patent the using the word allah and the movement to bow towards mecca! this is easy!
HA HA HA HA HA HA
This is ridiculous. Other players have bowed in prayer. This is like big pharma trying to patent individual genes, even though they the product of nature and not human invention.
This is just silly.
I agree, but it's no more ridiculous than any of the other crap Christians do here and elsewhere.
Tom, you sound very angry and bitter. Did a Christian dump you?
No, Teeny Brain. I never bothered with thumpers like you.
Tom, why do atheists insist Christians have less brain power than you? After all, we learn the man made sciences and Jesus' truth. Not only do we learn them, we understand what we've learned. And you? You complain about things you don't understand, then blame it on us.
Oh, do tell, Teeny. What is it you imagine atheists "don't understand"?
Perhaps you are referring to evolution, Teeny. What do you think atheists "don't understand" about that? Or is it just Tebow's silly genuflecting to which you are referring. Can you explain what it is atheists "don't understand" about that?
Go right ahead and enlighten all of us as to what you think anyone "doesn't understand", honey-pot. I can hardly wait.
Oops. My bad. I CAN, actually, wait. In fact, I don't need to know what you have to spew at all! I can live a very full and productive life without reading a single word from you, darling! You're irrelevant, not only to me, but to just about everyone else! How about that! Nobody needs to hear from you at all to live a full life!
What a relief it is to realize that I don't need to hear even one piece of crap from you!
If he gets away with this I will trademark cursing god. Consider this posting my letter of intent and part of my claim.
Get a job.
I think too many people are thinking he is doing it to make money. In fact he is going the other way. He is copyrighting it so people don't make a profit over his praying to God. He takes his faith seriously and doesn't want people to profit off of it for something nefarious.
Thanks for giving idea.
Would somebody please make this guy a tailback or a wide-receiver so he can have a successful NFL career?
I think he is bowing to the god Mammon
Nah, it's either the FSM or Godzilla.
What an arrogant pr1ck. Trying to profit from a pose.
no. he is trying to keep anyone from profiting from his name and prayer. seems fair to me.
I agree.Stop all this foolishness.
Bowing by men world-wide now subject to tebow approval.
pope files for Genuflect tm
Genuflect sues Tebow for siailarity to genuflect with 2000 years prior use.
Bow your head with great respect and genuflect, genuflect, genuflect ..
Do whatever steps you want if, you have cleared them with the Pontiff ...
In this live version Tom Lehrer actually muffs the "Do whatever steps" line.
Tebow is sooo gay. lol
Apparently, he loves to go down on his knees.
And he wonders why people- except for bible thumpers- don't like him.
Better than "musliming" which means you have to blow someone up.
Or Billdukeing, which means to display on the internet your ignorance of other religions.
Way to cash in on God!
Those whacky Christians.
A Christian attention-whore?
I've never heard of such a thing!
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.