The Sixers Have Finally Filed To Trademark ‘Trust The Process’

Getty Image

After years of enduring The Process, the Philadelphia 76ers intend to turn a profit because of it. Years of poor rosters and terrible results on the floor have given way to an embarrassment of riches in young talent ready to take on the Eastern Conference’s best. Now that The Process is yielding rewards, it’s safe for the Sixers to embrace the phrase well after the person who coined it has left the organization.

The Sixers have officially filed for a copyright on the phrase “Trust The Process” and intend to use it for merchandise and other goods associated with the team. Attorney Josh Gerben noticed the filing and tweeted about it on Friday.

Indeed, a search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s online database does uncover a filing for the phrase “TRUST THE PROCESS” from Sept. 26 of 2018 by the Sixers. It doesn’t necessarily mean the Sixers will go Process crazy and put it on everything, mind you, but these filings protect the team against impostors using the phrasing for similarly listed purposes.

The Process was former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie’s phrase for the rebuilding effort in Philadelphia that netted them stars like Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz. That process lost Hinkie his job because, well, it took a bit longer than he would have liked. The results are clear, and now that “Process” is not a bad word in Philadelphia for anyone save for the biggest Hinkie haters, the team can embrace what it’s done for the franchise.

Embiid apparently tried to trademark “The Process” back in 2016, and earlier this year, the Buffalo Bills filed a trademark for “Respect The Process,” a variation on the term. Professional sports teams trying to find new revenue streams through merchandise sales is nothing new, but the Sixers finally coming around on something fans have chanted — and their own players have embraced — is certainly significant.