Strike a pose – can an image be protected as a trademark?


Usain Bolt has filed a trademark application in the United States for his iconic pose, seeking to protect a wide range of goods and services ranging from typical clothing, bags, jewelry and sunglasses to restaurants.

If successful, this will help Usain protect, control, and monetize his pose in the United States.

Interestingly, the app doesn’t cover digital products/NFTS etc, so it may have missed a trick by not looking to protect the pose for such items. However, I suspect this is because the claim is based on existing records in Jamaica from 2010, before such material existed.

The advantage of relying on existing Jamaican registrations is that Usain can waive the standard requirement to prove use in the United States before obtaining a registration. While proof of use in the US will be required 6 years after registration, this gives Usain plenty of time to put his plans into action.

It will be interesting to see if further demand for goods in the metaverse/NFT will follow in the near future if the pose is considered a protectable trademark in the United States.

Usain Bolt steps into the brand’s iconic victory pose


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