HOUSTON (CN) – Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young sued three Texans and “the Joint Venture of Three Friends,” claiming the defendants’ leader filed a trademark application for Young’s nicknames “VY” and “Invinceable” one day after Young led UTexas to the national championship, with the intention of making money by licensing the trademark back to him, and to others.
Young claims he was known as VY and Invinceable during his college career, and licensed his name and likeness to the University of Texas to promote the school’s football program. Young claims the University of Texas protected his VY and Invinceable marks by sending cease and desist letters to entities that tried to use them.
Young sued Rodney Vannerson, Enos Cabell, Tom Roberson, and the Joint Venture of Three Friends in Federal Court. He claims that Vannerson, 50% owner of the joint venture, filed trademark applications for the contested terms on Jan. 5, 2006, one day after Young led UTexas to the national championship by winning the Rose Bowl.
Vannerson filed his applications “based on an alleged intent to use the mark INVINCEABLE for ‘computer games, electronic games, video games, computer program games, computer game software, electronic game programs, electronic game software, video game programs, [and] video game software,” according to the complaint. He claims they are using, or plan to use, his VY mark to sell clothing.
Young claims Vannerson filed for the trademarks “with the intent of creating a false connection” to Young and interfering with his proprietary rights. He demands declaratory judgment and damages for Lanham Act violations, fraud, unfair competition, and trademark dilution. He is represented by Delphine James.