When we reported last month on Cody Rhodes filing for a trademark on his legendary father’s ring name, the assumption was that he’d be granted that trademark. It turns out, that’s not what happened.
As reported by Pro Wrestling Sheet, the United States Patent and Trade Office rejecting Cody’s trademark filing because “Dusty Rhodes” is too similar to another wrestler’s trademarked ring name. You can probably guess whose, but here’s what the official document says:
Here, the marks share one term, “RHODES”, and a highly similar term “DUSTY/DUSTIN”, and share the same overall commercial impression of that of a surname and given name, respectively. Given the high similarity in appearance, sound, and meaning of the marks, the marks are confusingly similar.
Basically, they’re saying that Cody can’t own the name “Dusty Rhodes” because it’s too similar to “Dustin Rhodes,” which is owned by his older brother. That probably just means Cody can register the trademark with Dustin’s approval, although that raises the question of why the younger son should have any more right to the father’s name than the elder.
A Succession-esque bitter family drama seems unlikely, however. Dustin and Cody seem to get along extremely well these days, especially considering Dustin is working for AEW, a company Cody helped found. The most likely outcome is that they’ll either work out some kind of co-ownership of their father’s ring name, or Dustin will simply let Cody have it.
As for WWE, although they don’t own the name Dusty Rhodes, they apparently sought permission from Cody to use the name for the upcoming Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, which is ultimately a nice gesture despite the fact that Cody turns out not to own that trademark.