On Friday the USPTO office issued an opinion denying the registration of the mark I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! sought by Aztec Shops, Ltd. The applicant is the bookstore associated with San Diego State University. They wanted to trademark the name for “Bottoms; Caps; Hats; Jackets; Shirts’ Sweatshirts; T-shirts; Tops.”
The US Soccer Federation opposed registration. It noted that the men’s national team adopted the mark as a rallying cry during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. They claim that the trademarking of the phrase would “deprive…others of the ability to use the mark as an “informational and aspirational slogan.”
The USPTO agreed with US Soccer that “[s]logans and other terms that are considered to be merely informational in nature, or that express support, admiration or affiliation are generally not registrable.”
It noted that chants and slogans cannot be used as source identifiers and must remain available for others to use.
It is surprising that the groups did not come to some type of agreement for use. Of course, SDSU sought to sell clothing which likely included sports apparel which would could feasibly be confused with the US Soccer chant.