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Quarterback moves to trademark 'Tebowing'
As a rookie playing for the Denver Broncos, Tim Tebow was photographed bowing in prayer in the end zone on one knee.
October 20th, 2012
05:09 PM ET

Quarterback moves to trademark 'Tebowing'

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."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Celebrity • Sports

soundoff (507 Responses)
  1. Mug

    When you read the whole report, it appears Tim Tebow is trying to trademark the word "Tebowing" to prevent it from being used on merchandise to sell the stance of reverence he uses when praying. He is not trademarking the stance, just the name to stop its usage for profit.

    October 31, 2012 at 4:59 am |
  2. #1JesusFan

    Tebow is a pretty crappy nd over-rated quarterback.He hasnt done anything remarkable.

    Cant throw,barely can run through all those 300 LBS black guys,

    Eli Manning is WAY better then this CAJUN CLOWN!!!!!

    October 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • April

      Sorry, #1 Jesus Fan. It's perfectly fine to not like Tim Tebow's success on the football fiel . However, if you really do consider yourself the #1 Jesus fan you've got to act like him. You know: What would Jesus do? I'm certain he'd express himself with more dignity. Especially the "300 lb. black guys". Don't get me started! What's skin color to do with anything?

      November 4, 2012 at 2:01 am |
  3. ReadTheArticleYouDips

    Read the article. He is trademarking the name so other greedy fools don't try to start making money off it like Kleinstein. If he starts charging or suing people for using Tebowing, then you can throw stones, but until then.........Reading is fundamental....

    October 28, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • cleareye1

      Give the guy credit for looking out for himself.

      October 29, 2012 at 1:24 am |
    • Mug

      Exactly.

      October 31, 2012 at 5:00 am |
  4. Franque

    When is this tool going to come out?

    October 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Interloper

      When you sports career fails, try and patent prayer

      October 28, 2012 at 1:51 am |
  5. IslandAtheist

    Jesus would be proud.

    October 27, 2012 at 5:49 am |
    • UncleBenny

      Jesus would barf.

      October 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  6. nonconformist

    Always good to be able to make money from delusions. P. T. Barnum would be impressed!

    October 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  7. derp

    If prayer worked, Tim Tebow would be an actual NFL QB, instead of sideshow, incapable of playing any actual position at the NFL level.

    October 26, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • and as always

      derp is totally wrong

      October 26, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  8. ozferret

    Make it "T-Bo", like a rap singer, or "Just like Tebow"
    Gettin down on ma knees wid ma fist in the air. Idosyncratic?
    Iss just ma way o' prayer.
    So ya think it is odd how ah talk to ma god?
    Putcha 'phones back on an lissen ta ya 'Pod!

    October 26, 2012 at 5:08 am |
  9. ozferret

    They put the "L" into Gold!

    October 26, 2012 at 5:04 am |
  10. cantilever

    Breaking news: The name 'God' has been trademarked by the Catholics. Tebow is going to have to start using Mamon.

    October 25, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  11. martin

    it's all about money, and Tebow is a NFL flop...maybe he'll go back to doing male genital mutilations in the Philipines

    October 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  12. pres4sale

    I's is gonna sell ma religion and makes me sum cash !!

    October 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  13. John Cram

    If he is allowed to trademark that move, then I'm going after reverse-cowgirl

    October 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • derp

      Is that how you like to take it?

      October 26, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  14. John Cram

    Ha Ha – just want every other religious nut tries to do CASH IN!

    October 25, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  15. Bill

    I am sure that is just what God or Jesus would have done!!

    October 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  16. noillusion

    No wonder 'In God We Trust' is on American money.

    October 25, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • UncleBenny

      Given that Money = God, it is very appropriate.

      October 28, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • cleareye1

      Putting God on money is an insult that can't be topped by any child molesting priests. Imagine what Jesus would say about it?

      October 29, 2012 at 1:26 am |
  17. David

    Ever notice that those who invoke the name of Jesus the loudest are those who 1) worship money the most, and 2) judge and impose their morals on others the most. In other words, they are the LEAST Christlike people.

    October 25, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  18. Jillian

    Sure, go ahead, but I'll continue to refer to it as "d-bagging," because that is what you are.

    October 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  19. crystylclear

    lol! Tebow, you just are not that relevant. Or talented.

    October 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  20. Bill

    Tim, don't forget what God called on you to do. Trademarking a posture to glorify God is absurd.

    October 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Mug

      Bill, you wrote it best. I hope Tim is not behind this. I see no Tim quotes in the article. If true, how said for Tim and this group representing Tebow.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:46 am |
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About this blog

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.