The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s bid to trademark the phrase “Tom Terrific,” according to a public filing on Thursday.
Brady’s request was denied because “the applied-for mark consists of or includes matter which may falsely suggest a connection with Tom Seaver,” the filing said. A longtime New York Mets great and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, Seaver held the nickname “Tom Terrific” during and after his lengthy pro career.
Brady, 42, has six months to respond to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s decision, the filing said. If he does not respond, the trademark application will be abandoned.
The Patriots star faced widespread scrutiny earlier this summer when his pursuit of the trademark first surfaced. Critics argued that Brady, who filed to trademark “Tom Terrific” for use in T-shirts and trading cards, was attempting to steal the nickname from Seaver.
Brady expressed regret that his filing generated controversy, explaining in June that he only pursued the trademark to stop people from referring to him as “Tom Terrific.”
“It’s unfortunate. 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 told reporters at the time. “So I was trying to keep people from using it, and then it got spun around into something different than what it was. Good lesson learned, and I’ll try to do things a little different in the future.”
New York state lawmakers Steve King and Tom Suozzi, were among those who publicly criticized Brady.