Ric Flair’s new deal with WWE came at a price for the Nature Boy as Flair had to surrender the rights of “The Man” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and handed them over to WWE.
In late August, Flair, through a new limited liability company in Georgia titled Ric Flair LLC, applied for the trademark with the USPTO and submitted an affidavit and consent for registration of the trademark “The Man.” The affidavit stated that he is the living individual who uses, goes by, is known as, and have utilized the name The Man as one of his professional and business names in the United States as early as January 1, 1976.
At the time, WWE were actively promoting Becky Lynch as The Man and there were some issues between WWE and Flair regarding the use of the name. A week or so after filing for the trademark, a pissed off Ric Flair told TMZ that he would let WWE use “The Man” as the gimmick for Becky Lynch as long as they pay him royalties for the trademark.
Both parties went at it through their respective lawyers and Flair even told TMZ at the time that he would take legal action against WWE. His battle with the company also pissed off his daughter Charlotte, who sided with WWE at the time.
A search on the USPTO website now lists World Wrestling Entertainment as the owner of the trademark and a document filed on February 20 listed the date of May 18, 2020 when WWE would get full rights.
The document states that the assignor – Ric Flair LLC – confirms that it sold, assigned, and transferred to WWE, its successors and assigns, as of May 18, 2020, all rights, title, interest, and related goodwill in and to the trademarks and all benefits, privileges, causes of action, and the executive rights to “The Man,” allowing WWE to use and benefit of the mark and collect all past, present, and future infringements.