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Immune to Fear: Wrestling with trademarks

If you are not a fan of WWE wrestling*, you may not know who Jeff Hardy is.

Jeff Hardy, aka the Charismatic Enigma, is a superstar wrestler, half of the tag team The Hardy Boyz, a singer, songwriter and painter.

This past month, while sidelined by a rotator cuff injury, Hardy found time to register an old catchphrase for trademark: "Immune to Fear."

The registration may itself be a marketing gimmick to remind fans that he intends to make a comeback from his shoulder injury. The trademark issue keeps him in the news even when he is not crushing opponents in the ring.

The WWE and trademarks

Trademarks are no stranger to the WWE. From its earliest days, the business has capitalized on the names and slogans that abound in its ranks.

Trademarkia.com lists 84 pages of WWE trademarks. The list includes hundreds of wrestler's names and just as many phrases that the federation has used to ramp up interest in their doings.

Even if you don't follow wrestling, a few trademarked phrases have possibly stuck in your mind, which is what they are designed to do:

  • The Rock (now movie star Dwayne Johnson)
  • 3:16 (a biblical reference that became part of a famous wrestler rant)
  • RAW
  • WWE Rockstars
  • Authors of Pain
  • WWE Payback
  • King of the Ring
  • Legion of Doom
  • Royal Rumble

And now, 'Immune to Fear'

An article in Sportkeeda describes the WWE's creative history of using trademarks to publicize its stars and events. WWE is characterized as a merchandising machine, filing for trademarks almost continuously. They are using (and defending) trademarks to monetize every dimension of their product.

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* WWE stands for World Wrestling Entertainment, which used to be known as the WWF, for World Wrestling Federation.

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