It seems like forever ago at this point, but early in 2020, the XFL managed to play half of its inaugural season. Acting as a modified version of the NFL, the XFL included innovative rules in an attempt to bring in viewers. For example, the XFL replaced extra point kicks with varying points based on scrimmage plays from two, five, and ten yards. Viewers responded positively, at least at first. Unfortunately, COVID-19 forced the league to suspend play in March. Even worse, the lack of money flowing into the league brought it to the brink of bankruptcy. Thankfully, everyone’s favorite wrestler-turned-actor, The Rock, stepped in to save the XFL.
This week, reports surfaced that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson led an investment group that purchased the XFL for $15 million. The deal represents a cut price for the XFL as a result of the XFL’s ownership declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April. Assuming a Delaware bankruptcy court approves the purchase later this month, The Rock’s group may restart the XFL season once it is safe to do so.
Does The Rock get the XFL trademarks?
An interesting aspect of the sale is that of the XFL’s trademark rights. Currently, only one trademark registration exists for XFL, listing an online community portal and website. Over ten other trademark applications exist for the mark, all on an intent-to-use basis. Typically, owners cannot assign intent-to-use trademark applications prior to proving use; incorrect ownership information on a trademark application can doom the application altogether. These applications can only be assigned to a successor in interest, not a typical assignee. As such, The Rock’s group must ensure that the trademark assignment includes the magic words required by the Trademark Office. Otherwise, The Rock will be forced to re-file the XFL trademark applications and start from square one.