The college football season kicked off last weekend to the viewing and tailgating pleasure of many. Here are few fun registered trademarks celebrating college football:
BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES – registered for “entertainment services, namely, organizing, promoting and staging college football games, exhibitions and tournaments”
Notre Dame logo – registered for lots of items
FIGHTING OKRA – mascot of Delta State, registered for clothing
MULERIDERS – mascot of Southern Arkansas University, registered for clothing
HEISMAN – registered for annual award
THE HEISMAN MEMORIAL TROPHY AND DESIGN (below) – registered for annual award
Last year, in a big trademark case, several universities were successful in an infringement suit against a maker of apparel who sold shirts and clothing which used school colors, but not school trademarks, without a license. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the school colors had acquired ‘secondary meaning’ and were protected, and that the defendant’s products caused a likelihood of confusion as to the source of the goods. For a discussion, see here. For the court opinion, see here.
Other recent collegiate trademark news includes Bud Light’s recently launched promotion featuring school color beer cans. Several schools have asked them to cease the promotion, citing trademark issues as one reason (and underage drinking as another). Coverage at examiner.com and wsj.com.