HOUSTON -- Vince Young is suing former major league infielder Enos Cabell and two other men for applying for a trademark to use his initials and "Invinceable" nickname to sell products without his permission.
The federal suit filed Dec. 12 in a U.S. District Court in Houston alleges the men applied for the rights in 2006, the day after Young led the University of Texas to a national championship in the Rose Bowl and won the most valuable player award.
The suit claims the trio has spent large sums marketing and branding the VY image and Invinceable nickname, damaging endorsement deals for the Tennessee Titans quarterback, including one with Reebok. Young is asking the court to give him the rights to use the initials and nickname.
"The only thing we're trying to do is to assert his rights under the trademark law," Young's attorney, Delphine James said Friday. "Wherever that leads us, we don't know at this point in time."
James said the trio's trademark claim is pending. She added that Young wasn't initially aware that the men had even applied to trademark his nickname or initials because he was a student protected by the university at that time.
The suit notes that Young, a 2005 Heisman Trophy finalist, became widely known by his Invinceable nickname while playing for Texas. The university sent cease and desist letters to those using VY and invinceable.
"It's been a part of him since he was playing in high school," his agent, Major Adams, told The Tennessean newspaper this week. "It is standing in the way of some things Vince wants to do. Even Reebok wanted to do some VY things and they had to back off because of litigation."
Cabell spent most of his 14-year baseball career with the Houston Astros and is now an assistant to Astros general manager Ed Wade.
On Friday, he said that he had not yet heard from Young's attorney about the lawsuit or been served.
"I haven't gone anywhere," Cabell said in an interview with TV station KRIV in Houston. "I am not running from anything. Maybe they need publicity."
The other two defendants -- Rodney Vannerson and Tom Roberson, both of the Houston suburb Sugar Land -- could not be reached for comment.
Their attorney, Douglass Rommelman, did not immediately return a call to his office Friday.
The suit states that the men planned to use the Invinceable nickname for clothing, computer games, video games and computer game software. Young's initials, VY, were intended for posters, photographs, pictures and decals.
The suit alleges Vannerson initially applied for the trademark with "the intention of extracting money for licensing the mark back to" Young.
The 2006 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year already sells some products with those marks on his website. He also was featured on the cover of the Madden 2008 video game.
Drafted by the Titans in 2006, Young, a Houston native, has been sidelined by injuries this year and now backs up Kerry Collins.