The Miami Dolphins had quite the bi-polar season. After surprising many by opening with three victories the team finished with a losing record, capped off by a drubbing from the lowly Buffalo Bills. The dismal season culminated with the firing of their head coach and the probability that longtime starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be let go.

Adding to the misery was another loss just announced, this one taking place at the US Patent Office. Rookie cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick had made a filing last fall to copyright a nickname. That decision recently came in.

According to the case report there was too much prior familiarity with the moniker to another player in the league.


As most NFL fans are aware the “FitzMagic” tag had been affixed not to the first-year DB out of Alabama, but was commonly used to reference journeyman starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Ryan, playing this year in Tampa Bay, had a blistering start to the season for the Buccaneers, and the nickname had been bandied about freely for the first weeks of the year.

But there is a little more at play than a player possibly squatting on a (somewhat) catchy nickname. Minkah had filed for this last September, prior to Tampa’s early breakout. While the name had been used towards Ryan in the past, the defenseman also has a history with it.

According to an ESPN story from last year Minkah Fitzpatrick and his family had shirts bearing the nickname while he played at Alabama. He states that it was something he had been called since his middle school years, and there is a news report from high school that printed it in conjunction with his play.

Fans however are less moved by such nuance.

A caustic commentary on the QB’s shaky season. Well played.

Oh wait, people are actually talking this somewhat seriously? Oh, well then…

Minkah does have an opportunity to have the decision overturned. He can file a follow up request, as this is considered an Office Action with USPTO, however this one carries the “false association” signifier, which can be far more difficult to have overturned.

Oh stop – this is already confusing as it is!