Pending a possible appeal, Johnny Manziel has apparently won a legal battle over the trademark rights to his nickname, "Johnny Football."
And the outside income that could result is no small matter.
The U.S. Trademark and Patent Office issued a letter this week to a company that filed for rights to the name three months before Manziel did, rejecting a claim from Kenneth R. Reynolds Family Investments that the phrase didn't refer to a specific person. According to espn.com, the letter reads: "Registration is refused because the applied-for mark consists of or includes a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual whose written consent to register the mark is not of record."
The letter included attached articles referring to Manziel as "Johnny Football."
Assuming a possible appeal or request for reconsideration by the Reynolds company fails, the move allows Manziel's company, JMAN Enterprises, to move forward with its claim for rights to the name. If Reynolds does neither in the next six months, the matter will be closed.
But the potential windfall for Manziel would be wide open.
The trademark would legally prevent merchandise peddlers from using the phrase "Johnny Football" without Manziel's consent. That means every apparel company that wants to put Johnny Football on a T-shirt, hat or coffee mug would have to negotiate with Manziel for a fee or royalty.
Something tells us the Johnny Football business will outlast the Johnny Football athletic career by a longshot.