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Baseball player Bieber hits snag in his Not Justin trademark application

By | Published on Thursday 9 January 2020

Justin Bieber

A baseball player called Shane Bieber has run into a problem in his bid to trademark the brand name Not Justin. Though don’t be thinking that has anything to do with the poppy Bieber, who is far too busy flogging his new single to be interfering with the sporty Bieber’s sneaky business plan.

Sporty Bieber first used the line “Not Justin” on the back of a shirt he wore last summer, acknowledging in a jokey way that there was a much more famous Bieber over there in the pop world. Poppy Bieber responded by subsequently wearing a shirt bearing the less snappy line “Not Shane Bieber”.

A trademark application from Sporty Bieber then followed, he seemingly wanting to start selling clothing and other ‘apparel’ bearing the “Not Justin” line.

However, according to Law360, a Texas-based shoe company called Justin Boots has objected to sporty Bieber’s trademark bid. It argues that if a range of sporty clothing – and especially sporty shoes – were now released bearing the brand name Not Justin, consumers might confuse those products with, or assume some sort of endorsement from, Justin Boots. Consumers being famously stupid and therefore presumably unfamiliar with the meaning of the word “not”.

In a filing to the US Patent And Trademark Office, reps for Justin Boots wrote: “In view of the similarities between opposer’s marks and applicant’s mark and the fact that applicant’s opposed goods are identical or closely related … there is a likelihood that applicant’s opposed goods will be perceived as being sponsored or affiliated with opposer”.

Sporty Bieber is now reviewing the filing. Poppy Bieber is yet to comment. Maybe he could try to trademark “Not Shane” for a new range of clothing. Then one time cricketer Shane Warne could seek to block that via his clothing business.

And then we could all enjoy a whole load more legal wrangling between the worlds of music, sport and fashion all because one mediocre joke got out of control. Needless to say, we’d be THRILLED about that.