Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel has filed a lawsuit for the unlawful use of his nickname, "Johnny Football," and it appears the NCAA will allow him to collect money should he win.
The lawsuit was filed by Manziel's attorneys and claims that T-shirt maker Eric Vaughan infringed on Manziel's trademark rights when he made and sold shirts with the slogan "Keep Calm and Johnny Football," per Darren Rovell of ESPN.
Up until now, Manziel wasn't able to collect money on his nickname from his college football success, but that will change if he wins his case.
Here is what the NCAA's ruling was, also per Rovell:
NCAA tells Texas A&M that if Johnny Manziel sues for “Johnny Football” rights and wins damages, he can keep that $.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) February 23, 2013
Rovell's report also points out that the NCAA allows its student-athletes to collect money when it's the result of legal action such as this.
Manziel didn't file with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office until Feb. 2 of this year, and it has yet to become official, but it doesn't have to be officially registered for there to be an ownership claim. He has a great chance to win this suit, as Vaughan will have to prove his shirts don't refer to the Texas A&M signal-caller, which should be pretty difficult to do.
Manziel gained incredible fame over the course of this past college football season when he put up sensational numbers as a freshman quarterback en route to winning the Heisman.
In that time, the name "Johnny Football" became all his own, and it's easily one of the most well-known monikers in the college game today. Now, it looks like Manziel could be collecting on that name.
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