Tebow Trademarks “Tebowing”?

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Photo: AP

Various reports, like this one at the Washington Times, have said that Jets quarterback Tim Tebow has trademarked the act of "Tebowing," but I don't think that's true.

He has certainly trademarked the word "Tebowing" for use in a variety of contexts (or at least has filed for that trademark) as well as his own name, but in a search of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office database I couldn't find any reference to an application or trademark for the act or even an image of someone Tebowing. (This post at Techdirt also states that the trademark is only for the word.) 

I'm not sure it would even be possible to trademark a pose, although I can't think of a specific reason why off the top of my head. Maybe because it is not sufficiently unique, because other human beings have assumed this pose a number of times over the past two million years, or at least that's my guess. It might be possible to trademark an image of the act for use in commerce, though, but even if it is I didn't see any record of that in my (strictly amateur) search of the PTO files.

Tebow says he has no plans to make money from the trademark in any event, and is only hoping to "[m]ake sure it's used in the right way," if at all. Searching for "TEBOW" at the PTO yields this:

Winning Is Inevitebow

—and those are not all linked to him, so there is certainly reason to believe that others might try to misuse Tim Tebow's name and/or the Tebowing word and/or pose.

In particular, whoever applied for a trademark in the phrase "WINNING IS INEVITEBOW" should be ashamed of himself. Some penance seems in order for that one.