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Strike a pose - can an image be protected as a trade mark?

Usain Bolt has filed a US trade mark application for his signature pose, seeking protection for a large range of goods and services from the typical clothing, bags, jewellery and sunglasses through to restaurants. 

If successful, this will help Usain protect, control and monetise his pose in the US. 

Interestingly, the application does not cover digital products / NFTS etc so he may have missed a trick in not seeking to protect the pose for such items. However, I suspect this is because the application is based on existing registrations in Jamaica dating back to 2010, before such items existed. 

The bonus in relying on the existing Jamaican registrations is that Usain can forego the standard requirement to prove use in the US before obtaining a registration. Whilst evidence 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 whether a subsequent application for goods within the metaverse / NFTs follows in the near future should the pose be considered a protectable trade mark in the US.

Usain Bolt moves to trademark signature victory pose


intellectual property, trade marks, image, silhouette, pose