Johnny Manziel files paperwork to protect rights to 'Johnny Football'

ByDarren Rovell ESPN logo
Monday, October 3, 2016

Johnny Manziel still wants the rights to "Johnny Football."

A lawyer representing Manziel and his company, JMan2 Enterprises, filed paperwork with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Friday, one day before the nickname would have been abandoned.

An explanation, which needed to tie Manziel and his company to the trademark filing, was due on Oct. 1, six months after an examining attorney asked for the documentation.

Even though Manziel still isn't the owner of the trademark, he did benefit from it.

Right after Manziel was drafted, his representatives negotiated to allow the NFL Players Association to sell the nickname to its licensees in exchange for giving Manziel a higher percentage of royalties from sales of his gear, sources told ESPN.

When he did an autograph deal with Panini Authentic, he was able to get more money by agreeing to inscribe "Johnny Football" along with his autograph.

Manziel applied for the trademark in February 2013, but he had to wait in line because a Texas A&M booster had filed for the trademark before him. After it was clear that Manziel wanted it for himself, the A&M backer transferred the right to pursue the trademark to Manziel's company.

The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the 2014 draft. He was cut two years later after many instances of trouble off the field.