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Sports

Tom Brady Accused of Giving a 'False Sworn Statement to the Government'

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When New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady tried to trademark the nickname “Tom Terrific,” he was beset by a horde of angry New York Mets fans.

The fans, egged on by the team itself, were infuriated by Brady’s co-opting of a nickname that legendary Mets pitcher Tom Seaver was using before Brady was born.

And according to sports business maven Darren Rovell, Brady’s attempts at damage control after that public relations fiasco could land him in hot water with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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Brady had claimed Thursday that he only patented the nickname to keep people from referring to him as “Tom Terrific.”

“Weird explanation for Brady on ‘Tom Terrific.’ He filed an intent to use for himself,” Rovell tweeted Friday. “His filing given this comment, now serves as a false sworn statement to the government.”

The tweet from sports legal expert Darren Heitner that Rovell was likely referring to suggested Brady doesn’t quite understand how trademarks work.

Patent attorney Ariel Reinitz also weighed in, pointing out that Brady’s lawyers, not Brady himself, signed the intent-to-use application.

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Reinitz suggested that since Brady himself didn’t sign the statement he later contradicted, he likely won’t get in legal trouble.

However, the chances of an intent-to-use application being accepted when the trademark’s would-be user is outright denying that very intent are effectively nil.

Heitner seemed to chalk it up to layman’s misunderstanding.

Reinitz then reinforced the idea that filing an intent-to-use application before publicly saying you don’t intend to use is at best a waste of your lawyers’ billable hours.

Brady, for his part, responded to media inquiries about the controversy while at Patriots minicamp.

“I was actually trying to do something because I didn’t like the nickname and I wanted to make sure no one used it because some people wanted to use it,” Brady said Thursday.

Do you believe Darren Rovell's accusation against Tom Brady?

“I was trying to keep people from using it, and then it got spun around to something different than what it was, so good lesson learned and I’ll try to do things a little different in the future,” he added.

A reporter then asked, “So you did that for Tom Seaver’s memory and not for Tom Brady?”

Brady replied, “Well, I didn’t want people associating me with that, because that was something that I didn’t want to have happen.”

Whether that mollifies Mets fans remains to be determined, but Brady’s tone seemed to suggest he never intended to co-opt the nickname.

“I don’t like the nickname,” he said. “It wasn’t something I was trying to do out of any disrespect or ill manner or anything like that.”

The reporter then asked, “So no plans to use any merchandise or anything?”

Brady, amused, simply said, “No.”

As for the controversy itself, it will probably evaporate as soon as someone associated with the team is implicated in another of the long line of scandals that have plagued the New England Patriots organization during their 18-year run of sustained franchise success.

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Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Birthplace
Boston, Massachusetts
Education
Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of Nevada-Reno
Location
Seattle, Washington
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Sports




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