Bill Romanowski v. RNI, LLC (PDF) 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9889 Decided February 11, 2008 Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton Football legend Bill Romanowski (ââ?¬Å?Romoââ?¬Â?) sued a company that he helped start for 12 causes of action (primarily, but not exclusively, trademark issues). Defendants moved for summary judgment. Both sides were plagued with a lack of admissible evidence. Romo and Tom Incledon formed RNI in May 2004. RNI sold nutritional supplements and used the trade name ââ?¬Å?Pure Romoââ?¬Â? and ââ?¬Å?Pure Romo Nutrition.ââ?¬Â? Romo registered for a trademark in the names ââ?¬Å?Pure Romo,ââ?¬Â? ââ?¬Å?Neuropath,ââ?¬Â? and ââ?¬Å?Supplement Your Success.ââ?¬Â? The registration was done through one of Romoââ?¬â?¢s business entities ââ?¬â?? Outside 53. Later in June 2006, Romo incorporated another company called ââ?¬Å?Pure Romo Nutrition.ââ?¬Â? In July 2006, Outside 53 assigned all of its interests in the trademarks to RNI. Whether this was a legitimate assignment is heavily contested by the parties. In August 2006, Romo claims he ââ?¬Å?disassociatedââ?¬Â? with RNI and demanded that it stop using any of the ââ?¬Å?Romo Marksââ?¬Â? and ââ?¬Å?Romo Images.ââ?¬Â? The motion for summary judgment had to be denied because the ââ?¬Å?evidence of the actual circumstances surrounding the various assignments and purported licenses is murky, to say the least.ââ?¬Â? Among the evidence presented that Judge Hamilton explained was inadmissible, was: – excerpts from depositions that were not accompanied by a reporterââ?¬â?¢s certification – exhibits authenticated by Incledon, although he did not author or receive the documents and had no personal knowledge of them at all – a statement of facts filed in violation of Civil Local Rule 56-2 Defendants were granted summary judgment on some unrelated privacy claims. Although not a total defeat, it appears the defendants were not able to provide the evidentiary support to dismiss this case. As a side note, I wonder if Romo has any concerns with consumers, commentators, and fans in general confusing him with upcoming star Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys quarterback). Does this possible confusion lower the value, secondary meaning, or distinctiveness of Romo as a nickname or tradename? I do not know enough about trademark law to see what issues might arise, but I would love to hear from some of our readers on this issue.