From the Big Game to March Madness

Trademark issues associated with major sports events are in season.  Fresh off of the short-lived controversy concerning the Saints rallying cry of ‘Who Dat?’ Geoffrey Rapp over at Sports Law Blog brings us “March Trademark Infringement Madness.”

In his discussion of the NCAA’s defense of the ‘March Madness’ mark, Rapp shared an interesting piece of information on the origins and federal registration of the mark:

Interestingly, the Illinois High School Athletic Association, which has used the term “March Madness” for its own basketball tournament since the 1940s, holds the federal trademark registration for the term. However, the 7th Circuit has excluded rights to the use of the term in connection with the NCAA tournament from the scope of IHSA’s registered mark. IHSA v. GTE Vantage, 99 F.3d 244 (7th Cir. 1996).

Click here to see Rapp’s article in its entirety.  Stay tuned for more legal issues in March Madness as the tournament draws near.

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