The U.S. Patent Office, which has previously guaranteed wrestlers exclusive rights to perform finishing maneuvers, is reportedly tightening its standards and denying patent applications to protect moves it deems “derivative.”
Professional sports-entertainer Neville filed a patent for a maneuver he calls the Bird of Prey (a corkscrew 450° splash), only to be denied because it was determined to be “practically identical” to the Phoenix Splash, which was patented by Hayabusa two decades earlier.
Without a patent, Neville runs the risk of having his variation of the maneuver copied — or, worse, being sued for infringement.
Failing to patent a finishing maneuver can be a very regrettable mistake; Mikey Whipwreck, for example, neglected to patent the Whipper-Snapper, allowing Stone Cold Steve Austin to make a fortune off it (after renaming and patenting it as the Stone Cold Stunner).
Similarly, the Iron Sheik is now destitute, having let the patent on his Camel Clutch expire, allowing Rusev to create a new patent for The Accolade.
A number of maneuvers are currently patent-pending, including a controversial new move by Braun Strowman called the Grapple-Topple.
[Thanks to @GaryGonePostal for the idea!]