An Alabama football fan has applied to trademark the phrase “Famous Jameis,” which has been used to describe Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, the Heisman Trophy favorite.
Dr. Mukul Mehra, 40, filed the trademark request on Oct. 24, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website.
Mehra in a telephone interview said he has no connection to Winston, a redshirt freshman who is from Bessemer, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham.
“It’s not necessarily geared toward him,” said Mehra, whose medical degree is from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham. “I don’t know what our intent completely is. We haven’t worked all of that out.”
Pamela Deese, a partner at the Washington law firm Arent Fox, in a telephone interview said Winston probably would be awarded the trademark if he moved to register it.
“We would hope the examiner is savvy enough to recognize that Famous Jameis refers to the potential Heisman Trophy winner,” said Deese, whose clients include Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin. “You can’t register a trademark for somebody else’s name without their permission, which is what happened with Jeremy.”
Florida State is second in college football’s Bowl Championship Series standings behind Alabama, which has won the past two national championships. The Seminoles are 8-0 for the first time since 1999, when they won the national title.
Mehra said he has contacted a local sports marketing company about producing “Famous Jameis” T-shirts. He also said he’s open to a partnership with Winston or Florida State. “If it’s something they’re interested in using we could potentially market it together,” Mehra said.
The 6-foot-4, 228-pound Winston, at -500, is the favorite at sportsbook.com to win the Heisman Trophy, which is given annually to college football’s best player. A $50 bet would win $10.
Second in the online sports book’s Heisman odds is last season’s winner, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, who according to the patent and trademark office website earlier this year filed to trademark his “Johnny Football” nickname.
Manziel was the first freshman to win the Heisman, which has been given out since 1935.
Winston has completed 149 of 212 passes for 2,502 yards and 24 touchdowns, fifth in college football’s top level. He’s also thrown six interceptions and run for three touchdowns.
Deese said it would behoove Winston to move quickly on the trademark.
“The longer you wait the more costly it gets,” she said.