Arizona Coyotes Trademarks

The Arizona Coyotes are a professional ice hockey team based in Phoenix, Arizona, and compete in the National Hockey League (NHL). They played as a member of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference until 2021 when the Seattle Kraken entered the league, so they moved back to the Central Division. 

The Coyotes were founded in 1971 and were originally known as the Winnipeg Jets, playing as part of the World Hockey Association (WHA). After the WHA folded, the Jets were one of four franchises absorbed into the NHL in 1979. It wasn’t until 1996 that the Jets moved to Phoenix where they were renamed the “Phoenix Coyotes” before being changed to the “Arizona Coyotes” in 2014. Often referred to as just the “Coyotes”, the team name was picked as part of a public team-naming vote, just pipping the “Scorpians” – both inhabitants of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona to represent the region. 

During their early ownership, the team was unstable and declared bankruptcy in 2009. The NHL took over the franchise until 2013 when they found new ownership under the Canadian group, Renaissance Sports and Entertainment (RSE). 

The team has continued to be an unstable club and has never recouped its financial losses to this day. The Coyotes have had several coaches and players, and also many problems with playing grounds during their time. As recently as 2021, they were locked out of Gila River Arena for not paying taxes and struggled to find a replacement stadium. As of February 2022, the franchise has signed a three-year agreement to play its games at Mullett Arena. The franchise holds the record as the league’s oldest NHL franchise to have never played in the Stanley Cup Finals. 

Famous Arizona Coyotes trademarks 

Given their unstable history and consistent talks about new ownership and moving, it’s no wonder that the Arizona Coyotes don’t have many trademarks to their name. The franchise has registered 23 trademarks with USPTO. Registering their trademarks will help protect their intellectual property and brand assets from competitors using similar iterations. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous Arizona Coyotes trademarks, registered by IceArizona Hockey Co LLC. 

Phoenix Coyotes 

The team name was the first thing that the franchise trademarked when they moved to Arizona from Winnipeg. “Phonenix Coyotes” was registered for a trademark in 1997 – immediately after moving to the area. The trademark applies to:

  • Entertainment services, namely, providing professional hockey exhibitions
  • Clothing, namely, shirts, jerseys, sweaters, jackets, sweatshirts, T-shirts, pants, sweatpants, warm-up suits, caps, hats, socks, nightshirts, scarves, mittens, and ties

Arizona Coyotes

When the new owners took over the franchise in 2013, they chose to rename the team from the “Phoenix Coyotes” to the “Arizona Coyotes” due to them no longer playing within the Phoenix city limits and to try and draw fans from all over Arizona. The trademark was registered in 2015 and applies to:

  • Clothing, namely, bandanas, beach cover-ups, belts, body suits, boxer shorts, caps, cloth bibs, coats, dresses, footwear, ear muffs, gloves, hats, headbands, hosiery, housecoats, jackets, jerseys, leggings, leotards, mittens, nightshirts, pajamas, pants, raincoats, rainwear, robes, scarves, shirts, shorts, skirts, socks, suits, sun visors, suspenders, sweaters, sweatpants, sweatshirts, swimsuits, swim trunks, t-shirts, ties, toques, underwear, vests, warm-up suits, and wristbands
  • Entertainment services, namely, professional ice hockey exhibitions

Arizona Coyotes logo 

The Coyotes have had three distinct logos over their time, largely to coincide with the changing team names. The Winnipeg Jets logo used from 1972 to 1996 was very different from their current imagery. It changed slightly in coloring and typeface over the years but typically featured a circle with “Jets” written in the middle with the “J” being replaced by a hockey stick. They’ve all featured a jet plane image within the logo too. 

The Coyotes’ first logo when they relocated to Arizona was of a Kachina coyote that was designed in a stylized geometric shape made up of patchwork colors that represent the Southwest region, including green, brick red, sand, and purple. The coyote is wearing a purple hockey uniform with a crescent moon on the front and is wielding a hockey stick. 

In 2003, they redesigned the logo quite significantly. This logo featured a realistic image of a burgundy-red coyote drawn in profile with its head lifted, howling. The Coyotes used this logo until recently when in just 2021 they returned to their original Kachina coyote logo, much to fans’ delight. This logo was registered in 1998 and applies to:

  • Entertainment services, namely, providing professional hockey exhibitions
  • Clothing, namely, beach cover-ups, caps, cloth bibs, gloves, hats, jackets, jerseys, mittens, pajamas, scarves, shirts, shorts, socks, sweatpants, sweatshirts, T-shirts, ties, underwear, and warm-up suits

Arizona Coyote face logo

Though the full version of the Kachina coyote logo is used most of the time for the franchise, the first logo they trademarked was actually just for the face of the Kachina coyote. It’s the same design but just includes the head. This logo is still used across much of the Arizona Coyote fan clothing and merchandise now. It applies to:

  • Entertainment services, namely, providing professional hockey exhibitions
  • Clothing, namely, shirts, sweaters, jackets, sweatshirts, T-shirts, sweatpants, warm-up suits, caps, and hats

Related: Trademarking your logo with the USPTO

“Howl Yeah”

“Howl Yeah” is the Coyotes’ most recent trademark filing – applied in 2020 and granted in 2021. It was used as part of the Coyotes’ marketing campaign that they ran in partnership with Houston-based global marketing agency, 9thWonder ahead of the Arizona Coyotes’ return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The aim was to create a buzz in the area and build up anticipation in fans with their new catchphrase. The trademark for the phrase applies to:

  • Entertainment in the nature of hockey games

Crescent moon logo

In 2020, the Coyotes also brought back another old logo to coincide with the return of their new jerseys featuring the classic Kachina coyote. This logo featured a deep purple circle with the bottom left corner being a crescent moon. It’s the same imagery that the Kachina coyote is wearing on his jersey. The Coyotes brought back the iconic logo to the center ice as part of their 25th-anniversary celebration in Arizona. The logo is featured on fan merchandise and some pieces of the Coyotes’ uniform. It was registered way back in 1997 and applies to: 

  • Entertainment services, namely providing professional hockey exhibitions

Street Coyotes

The Arizona Coyotes trademarked the name “Street Coyotes” to cover the work that they do in the community. They run a street hockey league that consists of ten sessions designed to provide children between the ages of 7 and 13 with an introduction to the sport of hockey, risk-free. The trademark was registered in 1999 and is still a program that is run today. The wordmark covers:

  • Organizing and administering community-based street hockey programs and competitions for youths

Wrapping up

The Arizona Coyotes haven’t had the greatest history in the NHL – both on-ice and off-ice. As a team, they’ve had peaks and troughs, but are now the oldest NHL franchise never to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Off the ice, they’ve also had many setbacks, with several owners, coaches, stadium disputes, and severe financial losses. 

Amidst this turmoil, it’s unsurprising that trademarking their assets may not have been a top priority, but looking at their portfolio of 23 trademark registrations, there’s a lot more they can be doing. Whilst most of their logos and slogans have been trademarked, these only really cover the basics. For example, the crescent moon logos and “Howl Yeah” slogan don’t cover clothing, which is a greatly missed opportunity. And with their trademarks that cover clothing, if they were looking to expand their range into merchandise outside of this, they’d need to register their trademarks for a lot more. 

The team is worth $450 million dollars, and with several other sports franchises in Arizona, it could save them a lot of legal troubles, money, and headaches to trademark more of their assets with USPTO. 

Xavier Morales, Esq.

About the Author:

Xavier Morales, Esq.

Mr. Morales founded this trademark law practice in January 2007 with the goal of providing intellectual property expertise to entrepreneurs and businesses around the country. Since then, he has filed more than 6,000 trademarks with the USPTO. You can learn more about Xavier here.

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