Champion Eagles want to trademark phrase 'Philly Special'

The Philadelphia Eagles want the right to exclusively own the "Philly Special."

The team filed to trademark the phrase on Thursday, mostly for use on apparel. The filing recently appeared on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office website.

The Eagles aren't the first in line for the phrase. They're actually the eighth group to file for it. People in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida, as well as the Pennsylvania-based brewing company Yuengling, filed for rights to own the phrase, which refers to the now-famous Super Bowl LII trick play.

Trademark lawyer Josh Gerben of Gerben Law in Washington, D.C., says the Eagles will have to wait about four months for the USPTO to sort out the filings and then roughly eight months after that to see whether the trademark will be awarded to the team. While the other trademark filings are for intent to use "Philly Special," the Eagles say they've already used it, referring to a shirt with their logo that was sold by Fanatics in the days after their Super Bowl win.

Gerben says one question the trademark office will have is "whether the play's name belongs to the Eagles or deserves to be in the public domain."

A request for comment from the Eagles was not immediately returned.

The names of plays have rarely been trademarked, though Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famer Franco Harris owns the phrase "Franco's Immaculate Reception," the moniker for his famous catch in Pittsburgh's 1972 AFC divisional playoff win over the Oakland Raiders.

The "Philly Special" was called for a critical Eagles touchdown on fourth-and-goal late in the second quarter of the Super Bowl. On the play, running back Corey Clement took the ball on a direct snap, then pitched the ball to tight end Trey Burton, who threw it to quarterback Nick Foles in the end zone. The Eagles went on to beat the New England Patriots 41-33.

NFL teams have been active in trademark filings this past playoff season. The Eagles filed to trademark "Fly Eagles Fly," while the Minnesota Vikings filed to trademark "Minnesota Miracle," the pass from quarterback Case Keenum to wide receiver Stefon Diggs that got them into the NFC title game.

Interestingly, Keenum himself has also filed to trademark the phrase. A source close to Keenum told ESPN he'll likely pursue the phrase for himself only if he remains with the team. He is set to become a free agent next month.