The sports world came to a sudden halt on the night of January 2, when Bills DB Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field shortly after a collision with Bengals WR Tee Higgins. Hamlin was treated with CPR on the field for nine minutes before being transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
The nation held its collective breath as Hamlin’s life hung in the balance. Over the next few days, Hamlin’s condition improved. Hamlin emerged from his coma on January 5 and was able to communicate to his doctors in writing. The doctors noted that some of the first words Hamlin wrote were “Did we win?” According to Sports Illustrated, Dr. Timothy Pritts responded by saying, “Yes Demar, you won…you won the game of life.”
This news was applauded by the public, as Hamlin’s question, one of his first conscious communications after nearly losing his life, exhibited the selflessness that made Hamlin such a beloved teammate.
According to TMZ, Hamlin applied for two trademarks on January 6 to own the phrases “Did We Win” and “Three [Hamlin’s number] is Back”. The United States Patent and Trademark Office records show that Hamlin intends to exhibit the phrases on “shirts, clothing jerseys, sweatshirts, hats, pants, shorts, and jackets”, along with “printed and downloadable posters, mugs, and ornamental novelty pins.” In fact, Hamlin has already created a “Did We Win” shirt, tweeting that the proceeds of the shirt will go to first responders and the University of Cincinnati Trauma Center.
Hamlin has since been released from the hospital to continue his rehabilitation at home. Now, with the anticipated ownership of these trademarks, Hamlin can use his example as a means to give back to those who saved his life as well as the lives of others.
Robert Ricigliano is a 2L student at New York Law School. Robert is passionate about all sports, particularly how they relate to athlete representation and intellectual property.