Colin Kaepernick Trademark Has Been Filed For His Face And His Hair

Kaepernick billboard erected atop city buildings.
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Colin Kaepernick supporters may soon be able to find merchandise or come across summer camp brochures bearing his image and know that the money they put up to bring that item home or to enroll their child in that program, will be going directly to the professional athlete-turned-activist.

ESPN reports that Kaepernick filed paperwork to have a bust of his face and afro-styled hair trademarked last Friday, October 5. The black and white image in question was created and submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by his company, Inked Flash. In addition to his team requesting permission to own the logo for the promotional use and for the materials used in his activist workshops, classes, and seminars, Kaepernick has filed for the rights to defend the use of his image on everything from cell phone cases and doormats to candles and candy wrappers, according to Yahoo Sports.

In addition, the prospects of Kaepernick emerging from his current low-key state out of the public eye to benefit from becoming more involved in media has been made possible by his filing of the trademark application. The documents confirm that he has applied for the ability to use his prospective brand in the creating of a website and the possible production of films and television programming centered around the values of “education, social activism, self-empowerment, and awareness.”

The notion of Kaepernick potentially capitalizing off of his image may strike some as off-putting considering he is a social justice activist who just came off of doing a commercial and striking a deal with Nike. But it is not the first time he has filed for a trademark of his image. Well before he sacrificed his career to speak out against racial injustice, there were reports by ESPN and other sporting outlets, that the San Francisco 49ers QB had submitted paperwork to trademark the muscle-flexing ‘Kaepernicking’ pose that became popular during his first couple of years in the NFL.

In many cases, individuals with a visible presence in the world obtain trademarks as a mean of protecting their name or likeness from being exploited by others. Should anybody attempt to use an image similar to the one he is registering, in an attempt to defame him, Kaepernick would be able to sue them. What’s more, the outspoken Milwaukee native could likely use the income that can possibly come of it, seeing how he may continue to face difficulty finding sufficient work in the world and is only 30-years-old.

Most signs point to Kaepernick likely using a portion of whatever he makes off of the image to fund organizations training the youth on police-civilian interactions and carrying out other grassroots initiatives in marginalized communities of color. Such was the case when he began selling a custom-made jersey bearing the “#IMWITHKAP” phrase that he trademarked over the summer. The jerseys, priced at $99.99 for youth sizes and $175.99 for adults, sold out in one day, according to USA Today. But those who supported would agree that no price tag could be put on the impact that could be made by proceeds generated from the sales.