San Francisco 49ers Trademarks

The San Francisco 49ers are a professional American football team who competes in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) West division.

Founded in 1946, the 49ers were a charter member of the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) but became part of the NFL three years later when the two leagues merged. The team is based in the San Francisco Bay area and was the first major league professional sports franchise to be based in the area. They’ve played their home games at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California since 2014. 

The team got its name after the prospectors who came to Northern California as part of the 1849 Gold Rush. The 49ers are the 10th oldest franchise in the NFL and hold some impressive accolades. They won five Super Bowl championships between 1981 and 1994 and have been division champions 21 times between 1970 and 2021. This has made them one of the most successful teams in NFL history. 

The 49ers have set a huge amount of NFL records, and according to Forbes are the sixth most valuable team in the NFL and the 12th most valuable sports team in the world. 

Famous San Francisco 49ers trademarks 

As one of the oldest NFL teams and one of the most successful NFL teams, the San Francisco 49ers have a lot to gain by trademarking their intellectual property. They have 28 trademarks to their name, with some of these still pending. Let’s take a look at some of the 49ers’ most popular trademarks, registered by Forty Niners Football Company LLC. 

San Francisco 49ers

Despite being a team since 1946, the San Francisco 49ers didn’t trademark their team name until 1993. This wordmark iteration has the team name as the “49ers”, but they’ve also trademarked the full “forty-niners” spelling too. This trademark applies to:

  • Trading cards, posters, magazines relating to football, postcards, calendars, wrapping paper, paper gift boxes, paper stickers, paper napkins, paper towels, series of nonfiction books relating to football, poster books, notepads, paper party hats, and greeting cards
  • Men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing and footwear; namely, coach’s caps, wool hats, painters caps, baseball caps, visors, headbands, ear muffs, knit face masks, belts, wristbands, T-shirts, tank tops, pajamas, golf shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, jackets, neckties, suspenders, bibs, jerseys, nightshirts, coats, robes, raincoats, parkas, ponchos, sneakers, gloves, scarves, snowsuits, mittens, aprons, down jackets, leather jackets, shorts, sweatpants, jeans, pants, knickers, socks, underwear, bathing suits, and leg warmers 

SF logo

The San Francisco 49ers haven’t changed their logo much over their franchise history. Originally beginning with a prospector in a red jacket firing a pistol, this was their logo (not trademarked) until 1967 when they changed it to a red circle with a black outline and “S” and “F” written in white inside with the “S” overlapping in front of the “F”. This iteration has only changed mildly since it was introduced. The SF logo was registered in 2009 and applies to:

  • Education and entertainment services in the nature of organizing and presenting professional football games and exhibitions; providing sports and entertainment information via a global computer network or a commercial online service; organization of sports events; fan club services; educational services, namely, physical education programs and seminars in the field of football; football games, exhibitions, competitions, musical, and dance performances performed before live audiences and broadcast via television, cable television, satellite television, and radio broadcast
  • Football helmets, magnetically encoded charge cards, decorative magnets, pre-recorded CDs and DVDs featuring the sport of football, computer game software, discs, and mouse pads
  • Clothing, namely, fleece tops and bottoms, headwear, caps, T-shirts, knit tops, sweatshirts, shorts, pants, jackets, jerseys, gloves, cloth bibs; sleepwear, namely, pajamas; aprons, robes, socks, and footwear
  • Toys and sporting goods, namely, plush toys, play figures, golf balls, golf bags, golf clubs, footballs, board games relating to football, playing cards, puzzles, dart boards, toy trucks, Christmas tree ornaments, and miniature toy helmets
  • Posters, calendars, trading cards, series of books relating to football, magazines relating to football, newsletters relating to football, printed tickets to sports games and events; money clips, note pads, note paper, notebooks, stickers, desktop business card holders, pens, pencil holders, pictorial prints, photo albums, checkbook covers, playing cards, paper gift bags, paper gift cards, greeting cards, collectible cards, and souvenir programs for sports events
  • Jewelry, watches, clocks, ornamental pins, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, charms, rings, collectible coins, tie pins and clips, commemorative coins made of precious metal, pendants, and key chains made of precious metal

Related: Trademarking you logo


The phrase “Faithful” has been popular with the San Francisco 49ers for a long time and has been a big part of their marketing campaigns. Being one of the oldest teams and having a turbulent history of ups and downs has meant that they have required their fans to be faithful to them. With the arrival of flashy AFL newcomers, the Raiders, who shared the San Francisco Bay area, as well as the move to a new and expensive stadium in Santa Clara which geographically and financially priced out some of their fans, the 49ers needed their fans to remain “Faithful”. They have many trademarks for slogans including this phrase but the sole wordmark was registered in 2010 and applies to:

  • Fan club services; arranging, organizing, and conducting mental skill competitions, contests, exhibitions, and games
  • Men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, namely caps, hats, sweatshirts, and shirts
  • Men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, namely T-shirts
  • Entertainment services in the form of professional football games and exhibitions

Horizon Summit

Horizon Summit is a premier conference for the sports industry, ran by the San Francisco 49ers, SportTechie, and the Sports Business Journal (SBJ). Horizon Summit has been an event since 2019 and covers business strategy, business intelligence, and innovations in the sports industry. The 49ers trademarked the logo for this event in 2021 and it features a mark consisting of the stylized word “HORIZON” with an arched line through the word. Below this in smaller stylized letters is the word “SUMMIT”. It applies to:

  • Providing business information in the field of sports business, technology, and business analytics; arranging and conducting business conferences in the field of sports business, technology, and sports analytics
  • Educational services, namely, arranging and conducting seminars and conferences in the fields of sports business, technology, and sports analytics for non-business and non-commercial purposes; Educational services, namely, providing conferences, seminars, workshops, lectures, panel discussions, and exhibitions in the fields of sports business, technology, and sports analytics; organizing community sporting and cultural activities, contests and games

Wrapping up

The San Francisco 49ers are one of the oldest American football franchises in the NFL. They have won five Super Bowl championships, have a wealth of Hall of Famers to their name, as well as numerous NFL records. As the sixth most valuable team in the NFL (valued at $5.2 billion), trademarking their assets is a great way to protect themselves from future disputes and save millions of dollars.

With 28 trademarks to their name, they’ve protected a lot of their intellectual property such as their team name (in all its iterations), logos, and slogans. They have even trademarked their cheerleading squad, Gold Rush, as well as their official mascot, Sourdough Sam. With some pending trademark applications, it looks like they’re well aware of how important it is to protect their assets. Registering your trademarks with the USPTO can save you plenty of future legal headaches.

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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