WWE is filing a trademark for a phrase that is mostly associated with indie wrestling shows.
Heel by Nature is reporting that, as of December 15, WWE has a trademark filed with The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the phrase “The Collective”.
The WWE trademark states that it is for “wrestling exhibitions and performances by a professional wrestler and entertainer rendered live and through broadcast media”.
While WWE hasn’t really used “The Collective” before, that phrase is already associated with the wrestling business. Specifically, indie promotion Game Changer Wrestling is known for putting on an event that they call “The Collective.”
Though WWE and GCW may both have interests in the phrase “The Collective”, unless WWE changes the terms of their filing, it might not impede GCW from holding events called “The Collective”.
From the filing, WWE seems to want to use it for a faction name or tag team name. If they wanted to use it for an event, they would have filed for a trademark for use in “the production and exhibition of professional wrestling events.”
Given that, GCW might still be able to hold an event called “The Collective” without being in danger of copyright infringement.
Fightful Select spoke to GCW owner, Brett Lauderdale, seeking comment about the WWE filing.
In response, Lauderdale Tweeted that everything is going to be okay.
GCW has also been using the term publicly, long before WWE filed for their trademark. Given that, the USPTO might actually consider them the original user and might come down in favor of the GCW if the trademark is contested.