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Texas officials liked Steve Sarkisian’s ‘All Gas No Brakes’ phrase so much, they trademarked it

Filing with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office protects the phrase for ‘collegiate athletic and sporting events’

From left, Texas athletics director Chris Del Conte, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents Kevin Eltife and UT president Jay Hartzell welcome new football coach Steve Sarkisian, second from right, to campus at Sarkisian's introductory press conference.

Texas officials are serious about applying “All Gas No Brakes” to just about everything, so they’ve decided to trademark it.

Austin attorney Steven Espenshade filed documents in April on behalf of the UT System Board of Regents with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to have coach Steve Sarkisian’s phrase trademarked.

According to the filing, the four-word phrase — with no additional punctuation marks — would be used mostly in and around UT athletics.  

More:#AllGasNoBrakes: Texas coach Steve Sarkisian makes clear Longhorns must get to work

“Entertainment services, namely, organizing and conducting collegiate athletic competitions and providing opportunities for participation in collegiate athletics; providing collegiate athletic and sporting events; entertainment in the nature of collegiate football games,” the trademark filing states.

The phrase is not exclusive to UT, though. Others own trademarks for the phrase “All Gas No Brakes” for different uses. For example, one filing says the phrase is protected for a book and movie production. Another is registered for the use of beer. There’s one trademarked for the design of cartoon-drawn angry gas pumps.

This isn’t the first time UT officials have tried to trademark a catchy slogan from a new coach.

In 2015, Texas officials quietly acquired trademarks for the phrase “Horns Havoc” and “House of Havoc” when basketball coach Shaka Smart arrived. The phrase “Havoc” was synonymous with Smart’s defensive style at his previous school, Virginia Commonwealth.

Havoc was VCU’s total brand identity, at least as basketball was concerned. School officials in Richmond, Va., went ballistic. UT later abandoned the trademark filing, and the team later played at VCU to fulfill one aspect of Smart’s buyout agreement. 

More:Four months in, Texas’ Steve Sarkisian: ‘I know we’ve got a competitive group’

Sarkisian first introduced the phrase “All Gas No Brakes” into UT lexicon at his introductory press conference in early January. 

“To Longhorn Nation, it’s time to go to work,” Sarkisian said on Jan. 12. “Clearly, you guys have probably seen my mantra. This work will be all gas and no brakes. We will go to it full fledge, we will lay down on the hammer and get it.”

Soon, that phrase began appearing on T-shirts and hats. At least one member of the UT men’s tennis team wore an All Gas No Brakes hat before competing in the NCAA national semifinals. The University Co-op is selling hats and shirts with that phrase, too.

Expect to see Sarkisian’s signature phrase everywhere this fall as UT returns to 100% capacity at Royal-Memorial Stadium. 

Contact Brian Davis by phone or text at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.