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NCAA LAUNCHES ANNUAL TRADEMARK ENFORCEMENT CAMPAIGN

Los Angeles Trademark Attorney Discusses The NCAA, Annual Trademark Enforcement, Campaign, March Madness 2022, Representing Startup and Technology Businesses in Beverly Hills, Malibu, Venice, Santa Monica, and all across Southern California

We have previously discussed the most vigilant sports-related trademark owners, namely the NFL, the Olympic, and the NCAA. Once entrepreneurs, tech startups, and digital media companies register their trademark, they hold the right to disable and terminate any user accounts infringing on their trademarks like these sports-related trademarks.

In a recent LATML blog, we discussed how the NFL’s strategy for protecting their intellectual property in the SUPER BOWL® trademark is as powerfully designed as their gameplays on the field. Also, in previous blogs, we have covered the NCAA’s vigilant enforcement of its tournament-related brands, such as FF, SW 16, Elite 8, MARCH MADNESS. 

MARCH MADNESS® LEGAL PROTECTION

During MARCH MADNESS®, the NCAA launches its annual trademark enforcement campaign and they are ruthless about the unauthorized use of its famous trademarks. Particularly because it generates millions of dollars in revenue per year, with the highest earnings around the NCAA tournament season, to license its famous MARCH MADNESS, SWEET 16, and FINAL FOUR brands to various automotive-related promotions. 

In other words, the NCAA’s trademark protection strategy is vital in protecting the licensing value of the brand. Unless granted approval by the NCAA, the following advertising practices may result in a cease and desist demand:

  • sweepstakes or giveaways that include any NCAA trademark in its branding (see here)
    • Example: “The SWEET 16 Sweepstakes”
  • events or parties that use any NCAA trademark on posters or marketing material
    • Example: a restaurant adversities, “buy a wing combo, and watch March Madness here,” on their website and social media platforms.

NCAA INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY STRATEGY

The NCAA is no stranger to intellectual property legal strategy, and a few months ago took home an easy victory, taking over the Final Four domain name. The fan, who originally held ownership of the domain, rejected the opportunity to offer an argument to keep the domain name “finalfourneworleans.com”. On September 9, 2021 ownership was transferred and the NCAA held ownership and exclusive right to the domain name, “finalfourneworleans.com.”

Simply, one example of hundreds of intellectual property cases that reveal the prominence of strong legal brand protection. If you are a brand owner, you can also take notable steps to advise the public on do’s and don’ts when it comes to its trademark rights. The NCAA continuously publishes and updates the NCAA Trademark Protection Program. 

It also publishes its list of trademarks, which include:

Note: ® signifies a registered trademark in a federal database on USPTO records.

NCAA TRADEMARKS
68 TEAMS, ONE DREAM®
And Then There Were Four®
Beyond the Baseline®
Champions Play Here®
Champions Win Here™
College Cup® 
1College World Series®
CWS™
Dribble™
Eight at the Plate™ 
Elite 8®
Elite Eight® 
Elite 90™
Experience It Live™
F4™ 
Final 4® 
Final Four® 
Final Four Friday®
First Four® 
Four It All™
Frozen Four®
History Happens Here®
It’s More Than Three Games®
Make it Yours®
March Madness® 
March to the Madness™
March Mayhem™
Midnight Madness® 
Men’s College Cup® 
Men’s Elite Eight®
Men’s Frozen Four® 
National Collegiate Athletic Association®
National Collegiate Championships®
NCAA®
NCAA After The Game®
NCAA Basketball®
NCAA Championships®
NCAA Fast Break®
NCAA Hall of Champions®
NCAA Photos®
NCAA Sweet 16®
NCAA Sweet Sixteen® 
NCAA Team Works® 
NCAA Ticket Exchange®
Next Generation Sunday®
Pinnacle of Fitness®
Protect the Game®
Read to the Final Four®
Road to the Final Four®
Selection Sunday®
Share The Experience™
Stagg Bowl® 
The Big Dance® 
The Final Four® 
The Greatest Show on Dirt® 
The NCAA Experience®
The Pinnacle Awaits® 
The Road Ends Here®
The Road Starts Here®
The Road to Atlanta™
The Road to Frisco™
The Road to Indianapolis®
The Road to Minneapolis™
The Road to New Orleans™
The Road to Omaha®
The Road to Tampa Bay™
The Road to the Final Four®
Women’s College Cup® 
1Women’s College World Series® 
Women’s Elite Eight®
Women’s Final 4® 
Women’s Final Four®
Women’s Frozen Four®

Some trademark owners, including those in the highly lucrative worldwide sports and entertainment industry, including intercollegiate sports and professional sports, are even more diligently protected with trademark enforcement strategies, and brand exclusivity protection by entities such as the National Football League (NFL), or the International Olympic Committee (IOC), or as discussed here, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

LOS ANGELES STARTUP LAWYER FOR TRADEMARK LEGAL PROTECTION

If you are an entrepreneur, trademark owner, in a tech startup company in software, hardware, or run a local business and suspect trademark infringement, then you are well-advised to collect as much evidence of the potential trademark infringement as possible, then consult with an experienced trademark attorney to analyze for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, trademark tarnishment, or other legal trademark claims under federal trademark law.

As a brand owner, you must police your trademarks and enforce trademark exclusivity against third parties who are using your trademark (unauthorized use) or brands that cause a likelihood of confusion in the marketplace.
In and all trademark owners are well-advised to consult with an experienced sports marketing trademark attorney and intellectual property law firm in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Miami, or Dallas, before launching a major marketing campaign that may or may not be leveraging the third party intellectual property assets, such as trademarks.

David N. Sharifi, Esq.
David N. Sharifi, Esq.

David N. Sharifi, Esq. is a Los Angeles based intellectual property attorney and technology startup consultant with focuses in entertainment law, emerging technologies, trademark protection, and “the internet of things”. David was recognized as one of the Top 30 Most Influential Attorneys in Digital Media and E-Commerce Law by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Office: Ph: 310-751-0181; david@latml.com.

Disclaimer: The content above is a discussion of legal issues and general information; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be used as such without seeking professional legal counsel. Reading the content above does not create an attorney-client relationship. All trademarks are the property of L.A. Tech & Media Law Firm or their respective owners. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

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