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Trademark Guide to the 2012 Final Four

Posted by ipelton on: March 30th, 2012

This weekend is the Final Four® men’s NCAA college basketball championship. As with any big sporting event, lots of trademarks will be on display. The logo for this year’s event is quite nice, with some ‘scrolled’ design around the edges to create a New Orleans theme [click links and logo throughout for USPTO records]: 

THE ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR

ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR

FINAL FOUR

THE FINAL FOUR

FINAL 4

ELITE EIGHT

NCAA SWEET SIXTEEN

BRACKET TOWN

 The games will be held at the SUPERDOME in New Orleans. The name and shape of the stadium used to be registered, but those registrations have been cancelled because they were not renewed.

- see USPTO records (was registered for “Renting Stadium and Convention Facilities”)

What about the teams that will be playing?

KENTUCKY WILDCATS – The “Wildcats” is not a very unique team name.

KENTUCKY WILDCATS

UK

BIG BLUE NATION

LOUISVILLE CARDINALS – The “cardinal” name is also far from unique. And the logo as well. See for example the Arizona Cardinals or the Stanford Cardinal. But the university has done a nice job registering a variety of names and logos, including:

LOUISVILLE CARDINALS

U OF L

OHIO STATE BUCKEYES – Ohio State is a great brand for several reasons: The Buckeye name is unique. (A buckeye is a “small, shiny, dark brown nut with a light tan patch that comes from the official state tree of Ohio, the buckeye tree.“) The logos are both creative and classic. The brand is protected by dozens of trademark registrations, some of which are below. The only complaint I have is the way they frequently refer to themselves as The Ohio State University.

SCARLET & GRAY

BUCKEYES

OSU

THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

KANSAS JAYHAWKS  - The Jayhawk name is unique. And it is a cool history, see here.

JAYHAWKS

ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK

The Cardinals and the Wildcats are far from unique. On the other end of the spectrum, the Jayhawks and the Buckeyes are very unique. In my opinion the Buckeye brand is the best, because of the uniqueness, the variety of logos and marks, and the number of trademark registrations.

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