The Revival received a cease and desist over the name “The Revolt” by a tag team that has been using that name on the indie scene.
Caleb Konley and Zane Riley have been using the tag team name “The Revolt” for the past five years on the independent scene and had a cease and desist sent to the former Revival over their attempted trademark of “Fear the Revolt,” which The Revival applied for last month.
The 10-page letter was dated May 10 and claims the following… (via PWInsider)
The Revolt are well-known in the independent professional wrestling circuit and are the current PWX World Tag Team Champions. Mr. Burnett and Mr. Riley sell a range of Revolt-branded merchandise including t-shirts, hats, and DVDs, as shown in Exhibit B. The Revolt has been their passion for years and they have literally put their blood and sweat into building The Revolt brand and connecting with their fans.
The letter also claims that Konley and Riley “tried to reach out as friends but were rebuffed. Dax and Cash may enjoy playing heels, but this is not the ring. They cannot steal their former friends’ intellectual property without consequence. Their conduct is not only unlawful, it is truly shameless that they would willfully steal a name from those that worked so hard to build it up.”
They also claim that under US trademark law, the “senior user” of a trademark “has the exclusive right to use the mark, regardless of whether the mark has been registered” and Konley and Riley “are the true and exclusive owners of rights in the Revolt name” since they’ve been using it since 2015.
The Revival’s lawyer Michael E. Dockins responded to the letter and said that The Revival’s new name will not be “The Revolt” but will be “FTR.” Cash Wheeler, the former Dash Wilder, filed to trademark “Fear the Revolt” on April 10. He also filed for “#FTR” on January 1.
Our clients do not intend and have never intended to call themselves FEAR THE REVOLT. They have at all times and in every way made it clear that their tag team name would be FTR, and that FTR can and would mean different things depending on their storyline and creative. They are not responsible for and cannot be held responsible for dirt sheets and others incorrectly attributing to them a name other than the name they have chosen, FTR. In fact, when your client reached out to my clients “as friends” to resolve this matter they were informed that the tag team name is, was, and will be FTR and not REVOLT or THE REVOLT or FEAR THE REVOLT.
The entire purpose behind use of the word “revolt” and “fear the revolt” was a commentary on our clients’ departure from the WWE; they “revolted” against the establishment. As you may know, descriptive fair use permits use of another’s trademark to describe the user’s products or services, rather than as a trademark to indicate the source of the products or services. This usually is appropriate where the trademark concerned has a descriptive meaning in addition to its secondary meaning as a trademark. In this instance, the word “revolt” clearly has a descriptive meaning and may be freely used by our clients or anyone else in the wrestling business.
The lawyer’s response said that when The Revival were contacted by Konley and Riley, The Revival already told them that they are not going to use the name “The Revolt” and they even offered to finance Konley and Riley’s trademark filing of “The Revolt.”
The letter also said that The Revival “would have discussed and been willing to work an angle with [Konley and Riley] on an independent show or two of their choosing. However they did not proceed in a manner benefiting friends and such accommodations are now off the table. At best, only uncertain results and legal fees are ahead.”