Toronto Raptors Trademarks

Founded in 1995, The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto. Also known as the “Raptors”, they play as part of the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Their team name was decided as part of a name-the-team contest and was heavily influenced by the release of the movie Jurassic Park the previous year. 

They are now the only NBA team left in Canada since their fellow expansion team, the Vancouver Grizzles relocated to Memphis, Tennessee in 2001. The Raptors play their home games at the Scotiabank Arena, alongside the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League (NHL). 

After struggling in the beginning, the acquisition of player Vince Carter helped them make the NBA playoffs in 2000, 2001, and 2002 leading to the franchise setting league-attendance records. He was also key in helping the Raptors win their first playoff series in 2001. Despite advancing to the playoffs in the 2007/08 season, the Toronto Raptors didn’t see too much success until 2018 when they registered their most successful season. In 2019, they won their first Eastern Conference title and won their first NBA championship after advancing to their first NBA Finals. 

Famous Toronto Raptors trademarks 

Despite being a relatively new team to the NBA, the Toronto Raptors have had a turbulent history, with many successes included. They also set the league attendance record, proving what a popular team they are, despite being the only Canadian NBA club. The Raptors have a significant number of trademarks to their name, let’s take a look at some of their most famous ones which have been registered by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Partnership. 

Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors trademarked their team name first off, filing for it in 1994 after it was first used in the same year. This was officially registered in 2000. The Raptors have updated this trademark a significant number of times over the years as their popularity has grown. The trademark for the Toronto Raptors wordmark applies to:

  • Entertainment services in the nature of basketball games and basketball exhibitions, mascot and dance team performances, and conducting and arranging basketball clinics 
  • Clothing; namely, hosiery, footwear, T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweat pants, jerseys, nightwear, accessories, hats, jackets, cloth bibs, headwear, underwear, and infant wear
  • Publications and printed matter, namely, basketball trading cards, stickers, commemorative basketball stamps, stationary, statistical and reference books, magazines, commemorative game programs, newsletters, and pamphlets all in the field of basketball
  • Toys and sporting goods, computerized basketball table games, video game cartridges, basketball tabletop games, electronic video arcade game machines, stuffed toys, jigsaw puzzles, and Christmas tree ornaments

Toronto Raptors logo

The Toronto Raptors’ primary logo was largely unchanged from its first creation in 1996 until 2014. The original logo features a red raptor in a basketball uniform dribbling a ball and “Raptors” written above it with a purple background. The background was changed in 2009 to be red instead. However, in 2015 the Raptors changed their logo quite dramatically which now shows a basketball with claw marks on it. The greyscale rendering sits in a black circle with “Toronto Raptors” written around it and a thin red band circling the outside. Despite being filed for a trademark in 2014, the application for the team’s new logo is still pending. If approved, it will apply to: 

  • Audio recordings and video recordings featuring entertainment and information in the field of basketball, computer accessories, computer programs, computer game software, video game software, cell phone accessories, and electronic accessories
  • Binoculars, sunglasses, and eyeglass frames
  • Downloadable video recordings, video stream recordings, and downloadable audio recordings in the field of basketball 
  • Downloadable electronic publications in the nature of magazines, newsletters, coloring books, and game schedules all in the field of basketball provided over the Internet
  • Jewelry, watches, jewelry boxes, tie clips, non-monetary coins of precious metal, key chains of precious metal, figures and figurines of precious metal, trophies of precious metals
  • Publications and printed matter, namely, basketball trading cards, stickers, commemorative basketball stamps, stationary, books and magazines in the field of basketball, and commemorative game and souvenir programs 
  • Athletic bags, umbrellas, backpacks, luggage, wallets, briefcases, fanny packs, handbags, suitcases, pet clothing, and accessories 
  • Toy boxes and chests, pillows and seat cushions, portable and folding stadium seats, homeware, furniture, and novelty items
  • Beverage glassware, plastic cups, wastepaper baskets, plastic water bottles, and stainless steel water bottles sold empty, tableware, grill covers, lunch boxes, kitchenware, and piggy banks
  • Cloth banners, and bed, bath, and household linens 
  • Clothing, namely, hosiery, footwear, T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, pants, nightwear, accessories, hats, warm-up wear, jackets, undergarments, ear muffs, gloves, mittens, scarves, dresses, cheerleading dresses and uniforms, swimwear, and novelty headwear with attached wigs
  • Toys, games, and sporting goods, board games, electronic video arcade game machines, collectible dolls, stuffed toys, Christmas tree ornaments, novelty foam toys in the shapes of fingers and trophies, pet toys, pool accessories, volleyball game kits, decorative cloth wind socks, miniature stadium reproductions, and video game machines 
  • Retail store services, computerized online retail store services, and online ordering services, all featuring an array of basketball-themed merchandise
  • Audio broadcasting, television broadcasting, radio broadcasting, video broadcasting, and web-casting services 
  • Entertainment and educational services in the nature of ongoing television and radio programs in the field of basketball; conducting and arranging basketball clinics and camps, entertainment services in the nature of personal appearances by a costumed mascot or dance team at basketball games and exhibitions, and other basketball-related events; entertainment services, namely, providing a website featuring multimedia material in the nature of television highlights and providing news and information in the field of basketball

Related: How you can trademark your logo

Raptors Uprising GC

Raptors Uprising GC is a basketball team sponsored under their NBA team, the Toronto Raptors. Based in Toronto, Canada, Raptors Uprising GC is an NBA 2K League affiliate of the Toronto Raptors. The team was founded in 2018 when the NBA 2K League launched. They had a record-breaking campaign in 2020, winning back-to-back tournaments and becoming the NBA 2K League’s only undefeated regular season in their four-year history. The wordmark “Raptors Uprising” was filed for a trademark in 2017 and is still pending application, but if approved will apply to: 

  • Audio recordings and video recordings featuring entertainment and information related to the field of basketball
  • Electronic games, downloadable computer programs, downloadable video recordings, downloadable computer software, computer accessories, electronic accessories, and cell phone accessories
  • Binoculars, sunglasses, eyewear accessories, eyeglasses, and sunglasses cases
  • Downloadable electronic game software, downloadable video game software, downloadable computer game software, downloadable electronic publications in the nature of magazines and newsletters in the field of basketball
  • Clothing, namely, hosiery, footwear, basketball shoes, T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, pants, pajamas, hats, warm-up suits, jackets, boxer shorts, gloves, scarves, dresses, cheerleading dresses, uniforms, swimwear, and novelty headwear with attached wigs
  • Broadcast and streaming of electronic game play and electronic game competitions, audio broadcasting, television broadcasting, and radio broadcasting, all of the foregoing in connection with the field of basketball
  • Arranging, organizing, and conducting electronic game competitions, contests, and tournaments, conducting and arranging sports leagues, clinics, and camps; entertainment services in the nature of personal appearances by a costumed mascot or dance team at games, exhibitions, clinics, camps, promotions, and parties; fan club services

Wrapping up

Despite being a relatively new team to the NBA, only being founded in 1995, the Toronto Raptors have a whopping 60+ trademarks to their name. They’ve successfully trademarked their team name, logos, and popular slogans associated with the team. 

However, though they’ve done a great job of trademarking their assets, and clearly recognize the importance of doing this, there are still some areas where they could protect themselves further. For example, their mascot – The Raptor has not been trademarked. As the Raptors are estimated to be worth approximately $3.1 billion, it’s definitely worth the team protecting all possible assets to save them time and money-consuming legal battles down the road. 

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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