Yes, you read that correctly.
Anthony Davis, projected to be the first pick in the upcoming National Basketball Association (NBA) draft, has moved to trademark the phrases “Fear the Brow” and “Raise the Brow.”
Davis is known for both his skills on the court and his “unibrow,” the latter of which he doesn’t want to see copied and, in turn, become profitable for anyone else.
“I don’t want anyone to try to grow a unibrow because of me and then try to make money off of it,” Davis told CNBC.
Davis led the University of Kentucky to a national championship earlier this year—and UK strenuously protected The Brow’s image from appearing on unauthorized merchandise. The university sent “half a dozen cease-and-desist letters” according to Jason Schlafer, associate athletic director for marketing.
Still, BlueZone, LLC, which operates a Lexington, Kentucky retail store specializing in UK gear, filed a trademark application for “Fear the Brow” in November of 2011; the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), though, has since requested more information. Meanwhile, Davis himself has now filed to federally register the phrases as his trademark. If he succeeds, he will then have the right to demand removal of T-shirts like the one pictured above from The Blue Zone’s store.
Notably, however, The Blue Zone also has several other Brow-related phrases on merchandise that Davis has not moved to trademark, so those might still be fair game for others’ use.
NCAA rules prohibit college athletes from profiting from school-related merchandise and violations of such rules can put the athletes’ eligibility to play in jeopardy. Now, however, since Davis has decided to leave the University of Kentucky for the NBA, his Brow can become a cash cow, particularly if the USPTO approves his trademark application.
What do you think about the idea of trademarking phrases related to a notable physical feature?