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
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(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. IslandAtheist

    When can we expect prayer mats facing Mecca?

    October 20, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • dalenewrony

      Hey island atheist, if he were a muslim that believed that only people of his faith go to heaven and all others be damned to hell, do you think he would be celebrated like he is? That is my problem with him. But heck, George W. said that Chinese people don't go to heaven, much to mother Barbara' dismay.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:57 am |
  2. dalenewrony

    When are people going to begin to realize that the faith, born again evangelicalism, is patently discriminatory towards all other of the worlds religions and begin to treat this kid as just the AWFULL qb that he is. His version of faith is just plain bigoted! Stop lauding over this indoctrinated, he's not enlightened, kid.

    October 20, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
  3. Bootyfunk

    isn't Tebowing when you pray to win the super bowl but god fails and you lose anyway...?

    October 20, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  4. sir

    tebowing is just plain gay!

    October 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • devgil

      He can never come close to being gay, gays are awesome he is just some.

      October 22, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  5. Ting

    Tebowing aka talking to yourself.

    October 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  6. Dzerres

    When I first read the headline I thought "oh no, now what" however after actually READING the article I can understand Tebow registering that trademark because it uses his name along with the gesture. Please note as a Denverite and Bronco fan I'm am NOT a Tebow fan but this one I understand. As a gay man, however, I did at first think "tebowing" was something totally different! smirk. Alas, the jury is still out on that one. Smirk, again.

    October 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
  7. tmfan

    "Tebowing" became part of the American lexicon...It quickly became an Internet meme."

    Which is precisely why the USPTO should never have allowed this term to be published for opposition. It's not a mark, it's an expression, one which was originated by someone else. It was not used as a trademark, except as an afterthought. You can't "rescue" a word from the American lexicon once you've allowed it to go there.

    October 20, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
  8. The Dude

    And another Christian reveals the real God they worship. $

    October 20, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Tina

      Another negative response from an atheist. I don't know how you atheist live in that negative energy every day. You'd think you'd want to come into the light.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @Tina, NOT all atheists are negative and MOST that I know are quite happy in their lives. I know I am...

      October 20, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      "You'd think you'd want to come into the light"

      Just not sure what light you are talking about, is it green friendly?

      October 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • === o ===

      The only kind of "trickle-down" that actually works:

      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" degenerates to:
      "Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "Ronald Regonzo" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      and many other names, but of course I prefer to refer to this extreme homophobe as
      the disgruntled Evangelical Fortune Cookie Co. writer boot camp flunkie.

      October 21, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Tina

      === o ===, what are you trying to say?

      October 21, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • dalenewrony

      Hey The Dude, 100% agree! Check out the Suicidal Tendencies lyrics to the song "send me your money." One lyric goes, "here comes another con hiding behind a collar, his only god is the almighty dollar, he ain't no prophet he ain't no healer, he's just a two bit god damned money stealer!"

      October 21, 2012 at 2:10 am |
    • Michael

      Tina is merely expressing her (very unChristianly) hatred for atheists. After all, she has no proof whatsoever that The Dude is an atheist (Christianity and atheism are not the only two options), but she still chose to project atheism onto him. I would imagine that she does that to anyone who says something she finds displeasing about her religion and its followers.

      October 21, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • Mike Mo

      Tina: that is not very Christian of you, accusing another person of being atheist then showing contempt for them. Love thy neighbor, thy'll shalt not judge.

      October 21, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  9. t3chn0ph0b3

    I wan't to trademark t3chn0ph0bing. It's when you pick up and angrily shake your computer monitor when your hard drive crashes while everyone else is rebooting and calling HP.

    October 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Damocles

      Ohhhh crap I am going to be paying you a lot of money then.

      October 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
  10. CS Madison

    Hey, now every time that Catholics or Orthodox folks genuflect they will probably have to pay Tebow $50. Great! Who'd a thunk it!

    October 20, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
  11. dstrope72

    Reblogged this on ~Risen Hope~.

    October 20, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • 27eportsd

      Reblogged this on ~Sunken Despair~.

      October 20, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
  12. ArthurP

    The basis and true meaning of Christianity. Making money.

    October 20, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • old golfer

      Well, you left out control and fear. Good post though.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  13. Color Glossy Photographs with Paragraphs on the Back of Each One Explaining What Each One Is

    Tim Tebow is a generous person. Tim Tebow is a deluded person.

    Tim Tebow is a winner. Tim Tebow needs to win.

    Tim Tebow is a quarterback. Tim Tebow is NOT a quarterback.

    People love Tim Tebow. People don't respect Tim Tebow.

    People respect Tim Tebow. People don't understad TimTebow.

    Tim Tebow prays on the field. Tim Tebow shouldn't pray on the field.

    October 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You should shut up.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Color Glossy Photographs with Paragraphs on the Back of Each One Explaining What Each One Is

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I am merely waxing poetic on the polarizing nature of Tim Tebow. Why does this upset you?

      October 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Tina

      You forgot. Tim made it into a career that you could never dream about.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Ugh!

      That was far more wax than poetry.

      October 21, 2012 at 2:35 am |
  14. Brampt

    “Also, when ​YOU​ pray, ​YOU​ must not be as the hypocrites; because they like to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the broad ways to be visible to men. Truly I say to ​YOU, They are having their reward in full.6You, however, when you pray, go into your private room and, after shutting your door, pray to your Father who is in secret; then your Father who looks on in secret will repay you. Matt 6:5,6

    October 20, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Color Glossy Photographs with Paragraphs on the Back of Each One Explaining What Each One Is

      AKA: Enjoy whacking off, if you are a good little boy you will get to have a screaming orgasm.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Arvoasitis

      "Let your light shine ..." (Matthew 5:16)

      October 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • sgraschel

      It a shame that we are living in a world where gays are encouraged to come out of the closet and embrace who they have chosen to be and Christians are "encouraged" to go into the closet and hide their faith. ... BUT, I read the back of the book, we win.

      October 20, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Tina

      What you atheists don't get is when someone prays, it's not about them. That's probably why atheists never can pray. Because it wouldn't be about them.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Tina, honey, why would an atheist pray? And to whom?

      Oh, never mind. You're just another iteration of the same azzhole who's posting as God's Oldest Dreamer. Yawn.

      October 21, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • rick

      sgraschel: didn't jesus say not to pray publicly?

      October 21, 2012 at 4:33 am |
    • rick

      also, sgraschel, orientation is not a choice.

      if you feel it is, please tell us at what age you made this choice

      October 21, 2012 at 4:34 am |
    • rick

      tina: when someone prays on national TV, it IS

      October 21, 2012 at 4:35 am |
  15. Mark Oro

    soon Gays, Lasbians, all you name it are going to line up outside the office to register their patents.

    October 20, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Color Glossy Photographs with Paragraphs on the Back of Each One Explaining What Each One Is


      What does that mean?

      October 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Damocles

      I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to your last brain cell that died a horrible, needless death with that post.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, Damocles, I say we form our own nation. You with me, dude?

      October 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Damocles


      Absolutely! We need a name.... Tomoclesburg doesn't really roll off the tongue does it? Tomoclesikstan?

      October 20, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son


      October 20, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Color Glossy Photographs with Paragraphs on the Back of Each One Explaining What Each One Is

      @Tom Tom

      You have two too many commas in your post. Edit yourself much?

      October 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Damocles

      Damritistan? Not bad.... sounds like a new drug soon to be recalled though. Hmmm... who knew starting a country would be so difficult?

      October 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You have too many posts under your name.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Damocles: I agree. It's more trouble than it's worth. Let's just go get drunk instead and leave these idiots to stew in their own juices.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Color Glossy Photographs with Paragraphs on the Back of Each One Explaining What Each One Is

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What constitutes too many posts? Are these your personal rules, or is there some blog protocol I have bridged?

      October 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Damocles

      Being drunk would make it easier to stomach some of these posts, or at least I wouldn't care as much. I've got a bottle of Goldschlager in the freezer.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Color Glossy Photographs with Paragraphs on the Back of Each One Explaining What Each One Is

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Drinking is an excellent way to distance one’s self from idiots. Drunks never do anything idiotic. Well played.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Can I come over, Dam? Where are you? East coast? I swear, it would be worth airfare on the shuttle if I could get there in an hour.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Colored: they surely beat you for entertainment value.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Damocles


      Good grief man, we aren't going to be enacting world policy while we are drunk, we save that for when we get stoned.


      Yar, I'm on the east coast, lamenting the fact that my damn hokies can't win a football game.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dam, condolences on the hokies' performance. I sympathize.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Damocles

      Oh well, that's what they make next season for.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
  16. Color Glossy Photographs with Paragraphs on the Back of Each One Explaining What Each One Is

    I just returned from dinner at a road side seafood eatery that lets you pick your crab and eat outside by the sea and make a nice big mess. When the crab I bought was being weighed, I noticed as it struggled on the scale that it lifted it’s right claw up to the heavens it what appeared to be "prayer".

    If Crabs had Gods, their Gods would be Crabs.

    It occurred to me then that the Crabs most likely were praying to Crabala, the Crab God. After scrutinizing the crabs more closely, it became apparent that this was in fact, the Crab Hajj. These crabs are being called to pray but instead find them self in a boiling pot.

    Where is your God now stupid crabs?

    October 20, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Tina

      I'm glad you enjoyed that bottom feeder that cleans the ocean floors.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Tina, I do have a question for you, a serious one. Why are you a Christian? Isn't it because your parents were Christians? What would you be if you had been born in India or in Saudi? What makes who you believe in more real than any other?

      October 20, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Tina

      I'm a Christian because I wanted to learn the truth about why we are here. Yes, my parents raised me Christian, then when I questioned life, the answers were found in the Bible. Unlike you atheists rebelling against life, some of us mature as we age and we get to know and appreciate God, whereas you atheists walk around angry every day thinking you can find life's solutions through man made endeavors.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • rick

      atheists walk around angry, tina?

      you say that atheists find the answers to life through man made endeavors, but ignore that the bible is man made

      October 21, 2012 at 4:39 am |
    • rick

      tina: rather than rebelling against life, i think atheists embrace life. we are not looking for a reward at the end, we have our rewards while we still are alive

      October 21, 2012 at 4:41 am |
  17. What is this garbage?

    Trademarking a pose now? This is Christian how?

    October 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Color Glossy Photographs with Paragraphs on the Back of Each One Explaining What Each One Is

      How is this NOT christian?

      October 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Meatwad

      I used to go to the club and "strike a pose", but I was so damn sexy they told me I had to go home.

      October 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Tina

      Meatball. I think that was the movie was already made by John Travolta.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Faxchecker

      The term is trademarked, not the pose. The term contains the young man's name and was viewed as clearly connected to him, because of his fame. Now the term cannot be used without his permission. This is very common when people try to profit from another's fame, and is demonstrated to be effective in protecting your "brand" ie name, image, things you are famous for. The young man is smart and/or has been well-advised to protect himself in this manner. A connected fact is that he has stated any & all proceeds from this trademark will be dontated to his charity.

      October 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 20, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi Prayerbot.

      October 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Humanist11

      If god is so good and loving, why does he require some human to ask him to save little Suzie's life? Why do bad things happen to people in the first place?

      Atheism is natural and good. Brainwashing children and stealing their natural curiosity before they learn to think critically is child abuse.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • MC

      Yes, apparently it's warped your mind and turned you into a useless zombie who spends all his time posting on the Internet.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Color Glossy Photographs with Paragraphs on the Back of Each One Explaining What Each One Is

      @ ALL

      Here is what you do not understand about prayerbot.

      Prayerbot believes that prayer changes things. So do I. But not literally.

      Prayerbot will most likely keep posting until enough people realize that prayerbot is saying that Prayer changes things......for the worst.

      Don't make the assumption that prayerbot is a Christian. Prayer DOES change things.

      October 20, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Damocles


      What does it change? Diapers? Light bulbs? Plaid to stripes? Cows to dogs?

      October 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  19. Godoflunaticscreation

    Leave it to moronic christians to ban praying because it is trademark protected. I hope a comet crashes into these fools soon.

    October 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
    • Tina

      You sound angry.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
  20. showboaters are slowboaters

    they should outlaw this like other celebrations, just like the end zone rituals!

    October 20, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
    • Tina

      Is that a typical atheist reaction or a democratic reaction? Destroy what you don't like. Get a grip then get a life buddy.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
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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.