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March Madness Teaches It Doesn't Pay to Claim Someone Else's Trademark

We can all learn something from MARCH MADNESS.

There’s no profit in trying to register someone else’s trademark.

Check it out. The NCAA owns a registration for MARCH MADNESS. Actually, a bunch of them. This one’s for “Enterertainment in the nature of basketball tournaments between college teams,” with a first-use date of March 31, 1982.

But does that stop others from trying to grab a piece of the madness? It should, but it doesn’t.

Here’s a few of the applications to register MARCH MADNESS by wrong-headed entrepreneurs (or fans) with a little extra spring spirit:

  • MARCH MADNESS OR MARCH MADDNESS, for “Two words describing College Basketball in March or proceedings March, surrounding the NCAA, Women’s NCAA, Men’s or Women’s NIT Tournaments or any corresponding Men’s or Women’s NCAA Conference Tournaments; regardless of division classification; as described by the NCAA or any of its collegiate partners.” Status: Abandoned
  • MOBILE MARCH MADNESS, for “SMS automatic sports updates.” Status: Abandoned
  • MARCH MADNESS, for “shoes and clothing, namely sweatshirts, T-shirts, sweatpants.” Status: Abandoned

Revel in the madness. But trying to copy it and claim it for your own just doesn’t work.

For old time’s sake, check out this March Madness post from the dusty STL archives here.

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