Monday, November 28, 2011

YAO MING wine?!...

(Image source: Yao Family Wines via "". Used here for "Fair Use" purposes only.)

You may be thinking, "That sounds like a tall tale!?"... and you would be right. Turns out Yao Ming is turning the water of the Yangtze into wine. Well, not really. In fact, he has lent his name to a Napa Valley vintage, is the truth of the matter. Yao is now into wine apparently. At $289 for a bottle of his 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon it better be good too!

Here is the link to one article on this story:

Additionally, per the above-referenced article, "Yao Family Reserve, a 500-case production available later this year, will be even more expensive." Cha Ching, Ming!... Turns out, however, that Yao Family Wines is going to focus on the Chinese market rather than the U.S., but heck basketball fans may want to sing with Ming over a bottle... you never know.

In any event, Yao must have registered his name for wine, right? Well, let's see...
According to the USPTO's trademark database, there is a pending trademark application for wine for the mark, YAO MING, as follows:

Word Mark YAO MING
Goods and Services Intl. Class #33 for Wine
Standard Characters Claimed
Serial Number 85405999
Filing Date August 24, 2011
Current Filing Basis 1B
Original Filing Basis 1B
Owner (APPLICANT) 9 Dragon Cellars, LLC - Napa Wine Series LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY DELAWARE 824A Healdsburg Avenue Healdsburg CALIFORNIA 95448
Attorney of Record Jay Behmke
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Other Data The name(s), portrait(s), and/or signature(s) shown in the mark identifies Yao Ming, whose consent(s) to register is made of record.
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

This TESS trademark record reveals that this application was filed this past August 24, 2011 based on "intent to use", which means that the Applicant must still file a Statement of Use before it can gain a registration for wine. Additionally, the Applicant is a Limited Liability Company, as opposed to Yao Ming as an individual. One can only assume that Yao Ming, the man, is a participant or member of this LLC.

So there you have it:

Yao Ming, the basketball player
Yao Ming, the businessman
Yao Ming, the wine.

Good luck, Yao.

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Until next time.....

William E. Maguire, Esq.
Los Angeles, CA

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