The Lakers are an LA-based professional basketball team competing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the league’s Western Conference. The Lakers play at Crypto.com, an arena they share with the NBA’s LA Clippers, the LA Sparks, and the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, winning 17 championships, tying with the Boston Celtics for the NBA record.
The franchise started in 1947 when the Detroit Gems (a now disbanded team) were purchased and began playing in the National Basketball League (NBL) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, under the name “The Minneapolis Lakers.”
After beginning as a member of the NBL, the Lakers won the 1948 championship before joining the Basketball Association of America, where they won five of the six following championships. After a financial struggle, they relocated to LA for the 1960-61 season.
During the 1960s, they were led by Elgin Baylor and Jerry West (two Hall of Famers) and made the NBA finals six times but lost to the Celtics each time, stoking the beginnings of their long rivalry.
In 1968, the Lakers acquired MVP Wilt Chamberlain, who helped them win their sixth NBA title (the first in LA). Soon after, they traded for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a superstar who’d win MVP awards for the Lakers.
In the 70s, Jerry Buss purchased the Lakers, and they drafted Magic Johnson in the 1979 draft, anchoring the roster and starting a fast rise, earning the team the name “Showtime Lakers.”
The franchise won five championships in nine years, including two out of three final matches against the Celtics. But the team struggled once more until 1996 (when they drafted Kobe Bryant and superstar Shaquille O’Neal). Until 2004 the dynamic Shaq and Kobe era kept the team afloat, but O’Neal was traded away in 2004. After that, a trade for Pau Gasol helped them get back to the finals, though they lost to the Celtics in 2008 (but won in 2009 and 2010). 2010 was the most recent match between the Celtics and Lakers.
The Lakers signed LeBron James in 2018 and further reshuffled the team by trading several young prospects for star Anthony Davis. The Lakers won the team’s 17th championship in 2020, thanks to James, Davis, and Head Coach Frank Vogel.
The Lakers hold the NBA’s longest winning streak record, with 33 straight games. Twenty-six Hall of Famers have played for them, and four have coached the team.
Famous LA Lakers trademarks
The Los Angeles Lakers have a unique history and records; it’s no surprise that they’ve amassed a modest portfolio of intellectual property. Let’s take a look at some of the trademarks registered with the USPTO by Los Angeles Lakers, Inc.
Los Angeles Lakers logo
The first LA Lakers logo, consisting of a basketball underneath stylized font that says “Los Angeles Lakers”, was registered in 1971 for use in:
- Professional basketball exhibitions
- Entertainment and educational services such as ongoing television and radio programs related to basketball and basketball games/exhibitions
- Production of basketball entertainment events, clinics, camps, and related events
- Dance team clinics and camps
- Personal appearances by a costumed mascot, dance team, cheerleader, or pep squad
- Providing a website related to featuring television highlights, video recordings, interaction highlight sections, and more
- Online non-downloadable games such as puzzles, trivia games, and more
- Retail stores, including online store/retail ordering, catalog services, and more
- Computer accessories and phone accessories
- Jewelry and jewelry boxes
- Bags, including travel bags and cases
- Souvenirs and sporting goods
- Games and trading cards
- Computer services, including online magazines, newsletters, and coloring books related to basketball
- Conducting online poll surveys
- Providing databases featuring general and local news information
- Interactive video highlight sections
- Audio, video, and computer game discs related to basketball
- Computer accessories and carrying cases
- Information and images related to basketball
- Computer programs and video games related to basketball
- Athletic bags, shoe bags for travel, overnight bags, umbrellas, backpacks, baby backpacks, duffel bags, tote bags, luggage, luggage tags, other bags, and related accessories
- Podcasts and other broadcasts
- Golf balls, playground balls, sports balls, rubber action balls and foam action balls, basketball nets, pogs, basketball backboards, pumps for inflating basketballs, and other toys and accessories
- Publications and printed matter, namely basketball trading cards, dance team trading cards, mascot trading cards, entertainment trading cards, pogs, stickers, decals, commemorative basketball stamps, postcards, note cards, memo pads, ballpoint pens, pencils, 3-ring binders, folders, wire-bound notebooks, portfolio notebooks, unmounted and mounted photographs, posters, calendars, bumper stickers, book covers, wrapping papers, activity books, statistical books, guide books, reference books for basketball, magazines in the field of basketball, commemorative game programs, paper pennants, stationery portfolios, and statistical sheets for basketball topics, newsletters, and pamphlets for distribution to the television and radio media
- Cybercasting services such as providing online chat rooms and online interactive chat rooms with guests for transmission of messages among computer users concerning the field of basketball; broadcasting programs via a global computer network.
- Footwear, T-shirts, jerseys, and other clothing
Though the team changed its name, they retain the rights to the name of the Minneapolis Lakers. The trademark was registered in 1991 for use in:
- Footwear, jerseys, T-shirts, hosiery, and other clothing
The Laker Girls are a professional cheerleading squad that appears alongside the Los Angeles Lakers. The wordmark was registered for use in 1991 following its first use in the same year. The trademark registration applies to:
- Entertainment services such as performances given by a cheerleading or dance squad
- Hosiery, footwear, jerseys, and other clothing
The most recent trademark application submitted is for “Lakers”; following its first commercial use in 1949, the trademark filing was submitted in 2021; if approved, it’ll apply to:
- Hosiery, footwear, basketball shoes, sneakers, T-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, pants, tank tops, jerseys, shorts, pajamas, sport shirts, rugby shirts, sweaters, belts, ties, and other clothing
The “JR. Lakers” wordmark was registered in 2015 for use in:
- Entertainment and educational services related to ongoing television and radio programs in the field of basketball and rendering live basketball games and basketball exhibitions
- The production and distribution of radio and television shows featuring basketball games, basketball events, and programs in the field of basketball; conducting and arranging basketball clinics and camps, coaches clinics and camps, dance team clinics and camps, and basketball games
- Toys and games, including video games
- Fan club services
- Clothing: T-shirts, shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops, jerseys, hats, caps, visors, and jackets
The “L” logo consists of a stylized “L” in front of a basketball design; It was registered in 2002 for use in:
- T-shirts, polo shirts, tank tops, visors, and other clothing
- Trading cards, newsletters, magazines, and other printed matter
- Athletic bags, shoe bags for travel, overnight bags, and other bags
- Video games, dolls, toy figures, and other toys and games
- Live basketball games and other entertainment services
The Los Angeles Lakers have a unique history and high net worth – the LA Lakers are thought to be worth more than 5 billion dollars. This immense net worth comprises intellectual property; intellectual property can be worth more than other property types. But the Lakers could register more trademarks – while they’ve registered several brands, commercial ventures, and their cheer squad, they haven’t registered charitable ventures (despite being involved in several) or officially protected their team’s mascot. The Lakers currently have 42 registered trademarks (including pending trademark filings).