Among NFL nicknames, “Sacksonville” for the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ fantastic defense ranks among the best. It’s so good, we have a fight over who created it.
The Jaguars filed an application for the trademark to “Sacksonville.” Former Jaguars linebacker Dan Skuta has filed an opposition, saying he came up with the phrase, has been using it for years and the Jaguars have been supporting it too. The legal news comes from Josh Gerben, a lawyer who posted a link to Skuta’s court filing to oppose the Jaguars trying to trademark the nickname.
It’s not the first time a player and his former team have been at odds, even in the court system, but Skuta’s grievance against the Jaguars is unusual.
Dan Skuta had been using ‘Sacksonville’ on social media
There’s a couple funny tidbits about Skuta and the Jaguars. While Skuta played eight NFL seasons, only two came with Jacksonville. He played 26 games for the Jaguars in 2015-16, starting 10. And Skuta started using “Sacksonville” before it got popular last season, when the Jaguars became one of the best defenses in the NFL and it became a popular hashtag on social media. Skuta was cut by the Jaguars in April of 2017.
According to the court filing, Skuta started the Instagram account @sacksonville in July of 2015. His @DefendDuval Twitter account uses Sacksonville as its name. Both have a custom Sacksonville logo. He seems to have branded it well.
It’s for a good cause, too. The complaint said Skuta wanted to sell merchandise to benefit his “sack lunch campaign” to donate school lunches to children in need. The court filing said there has been a little more than $3,000 in “Sacksonville” merchandise sold.
Jaguars wanted to trademark the nickname
Skuta, who operates the under the Yeti LLC limited liability company (the linebacker was really thinking ahead), said the Jaguars were aware of his use of “Sacksonville” and even promoted it. The court document says the team tagged his posts and liked “Sacksonville” on its Instagram account.
Skuta’s issue is that the Jaguars have started to sell merchandise with the hashtag #Sacksonville on it. His complaint said it has “caused consumers to be confused regarding the source of the merchandise and diverted traffic away from the Sacksonville online store and resulted in a decrease in sales of merchandise. As a result, Yeti LLC has been damaged in lost sales revenue.”
Skuta also says the Jaguars, in their trademark application, say the first use of “Sacksonville” came on Sept. 1, 2017. That doesn’t match Skuta’s social media accounts.
It’s a pretty interesting case. The Jaguars cut Skuta before their defense took off last season, but Skuta might end up getting a little bit of legal revenge.
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