The Cleveland Browns are an Ohio-based NFL team playing as a member of the American Football Conference (AFC) North Division. The team colors are a distinctive combination of brown, orange, and white. The Browns are unique because they don’t have logos on their helmets.
Their history began when Arthur McBride secured a franchise in the newly formed AACF. Paul Brown was the team’s first coach, and the team was named after him. Paul Brown has been called “The Father of Modern Football.”
The Browns began to play in 1946 under the AAFC. The team moved over to the National Football League (NFL) and continued its upward trajectory, winning the NFL championship three times.
The team then moved to the more established National Football League (NFL), where it continued to dominate. Between 1950 and 1955, Cleveland reached the NFL championship game every year, winning three times. From 1965 to 1995, they would reach the playoffs 14 times but didn’t win another championship or play in the Superbowl.
In 1953 the team would be sold for $600,000, a far bigger sum than was typical for the era. In 1995 the Browns were sold again, and there was a plan to move them to Baltimore. However, an uproar from the fans prevented this and a compromise allowed a new team, the Baltimore Ravens, to be born.
The Browns’ intellectual property, including team name, logos, training facility, and history, were kept in trust, and the franchise was regarded by the NFL as suspended for several seasons. In 1999 the Browns resumed play again. Thus while the 1999 Browns were not technically considered an expansion franchise, the club’s roster was re-stocked via an expansion draft. The Browns would improve exponentially over the next few years under the leadership of Butch Davis. However, the Browns would face several years of upheavals with multiple coaches and notably difficult seasons between 2005 and 2009. The team would struggle until 2020, the year in which they would end the NFL’s longest playoff drought and beat the Pittsburg Steelers to enter the playoffs.
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In January 2021, the Browns lost 17-22 to the Kansas City Chiefs’ defending champions. Despite the disappointing loss, The Browns received praise for the turnaround. A growing number of fans and commentators believe that they’ll make strong playoff contenders in the future.
Famous Cleveland Browns trademarks
Most football teams register their logos, slogans, and team names with the United States patent and trademark office (USPTO) and the Cleveland Browns are no exception. The Cleveland Browns have a few trademarks registered with the trademark office. Let’s take a look at some of their most popular trademarks.
Football helmets. The most recent version of The Browns helmet logo, consisting of a 2D design of an orange football helmet with the football team’s colors, was registered in 2020. The service mark applies to the following categories:
- Downloadable software for mobile applications, specifically related to football exhibitions, schedules, media guides, and recordings
- Decorative magnets
- Jewelry, including watches and other accessories
- Light switch covers
- Pre-recorded DVDs and mousepads
- Downloadable multimedia files containing artwork, text, audio, video, games, and internet web links relating to football exhibitions
- Posters, calendars, and trading cards related to football
- Publications, magazines, newsletters, and other written materials related to football
- Football souvenirs
- Flags of textile or plastic, cloth towels, quilts, and cloth banners
- Clothing, footwear, and headwear
- Toys and sporting goods
- Education and entertainment services
Read more on trademarking logos
The Cleveland Browns fans are known as “The Dawg Pound,” first used by Hanford Dixon and Frank Minnifield (Superstar Browns players) in 1985. Since then, the “Dawg Pound” fans have enjoyed their exclusive sections in the Browns’ stadiums. To acknowledge their fanbase, several Dawg Pound trademarks exist. The first use in e-commerce was in 1999. The trademark applies to the following:
- Goods and services, entertainment services including conducting and organizing exhibitions for professional football games
- Physical education programs
- Cultural and sports events
- Clothing for men, women, and children, including headwear, jerseys, and T-shirts
- Printed matter such as bumper stickers and decals
- Homewares such as glasses and shot glasses
- Fan club services
The Cleveland Browns dog logo consists of a snarling dog’s face. This logo appears primarily on merchandise and marketing materials. The trademark filing was submitted in 2015 and applies to the following categories:
- Posters and calendars
- Trading cards
- Magazines related to football
- Newsletters and other publications related to football
- Notepads and stationery
- Paper flags
- Rub on decorative transfers including decals and temporary tattoos
- Collectible sports trading cards
- Collectible cardholders and memorabilia
- Souvenir programs for sports events
- Money clips of precious metals
- Printed publications
- Art prints
- Wrapping paper and decorative tissue paper
- Photo stands
- Clothing for men, women, and children
- Education and entertainment services, consisting of conducting and organizing exhibitions in professional football games
- Providing sports and entertainment information via a global computer network or a commercial online computer service or by cable, satellite, television, and radio; educational services, namely, physical education programs
- Fan clubs and groups
The wordmark ‘Cleveland Browns’ was last subject to trademark registration in 1994 despite having its first use in 1963. The wordmark applies to the following categories:
- Trading cards, posters, magazines, and books regarding football, postcards, calendars, wrapping paper, paper stickers, and napkins
- Men, women’s and children’s clothing
The Cleveland Browns submitted the first trademark application for the word ‘Browns’. The trademark application was submitted in 1983 after having its first use in 1946. The wordmark is only registered in one category:
- Entertainment services in the form of professional football games and exhibitions
Brownstown is the name of the Cleveland Browns’ official club and wine brand. The name was first used in commerce in 2002 and is trademarked for the following areas:
- Women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, including shirts
- Stadium hospitality services, namely, providing general purpose facilities for business events, consumer shows, tradeshows, community activities, entertainment events, public events, sporting events, educational events, conventions, exhibitions. Providing banquet and social function facilities. Providing food and beverages at a sports and entertainment events stadium
- Stadium hospitality services, namely, providing facilities for entertainment events, public entertainment events, sporting events, educational events, educational conventions, educational exhibitions
The Cleveland Browns have a net worth of over 300 million dollars. Part of this immense worth is in brand value – the Cleveland Browns Football Company LLC owns more than 20 trademarks registered with the USPTO.
Intellectual property can be more valuable than physical property; registering trademarks is a vital way to assert your rights to your intellectual property – without correct trademark registration, you’ll have no recourse if a competitor infringes on your organization’s branding or unique intellectual property.