By Ryan Hilbert

Following on the heels of New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow’s attempt to register the trademark "Tebowing," Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs’ attempt to register the trademark "Ball So Hard University," and New York Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin’s attempt to register the trademark "Linsanity," it appears that another high-profile athlete, former University of Kentucky basketball standout and consensus No. 1 NBA draft pick Anthony Davis, is now getting into the trademark business.


Continue Reading A Slam Dunk For Trademarking Sports Catchphrases

By Ryan Hilbert

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs may be fast on the field. But it’s too bad he wasn’t faster to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

During the telecast of a game between Suggs’ Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 6, 2011, Suggs referred to his alma mater, Arizona State University, as “Ball So Hard University.” This phrase immediately caught on, and three days later Suggs appeared at a press conference wearing a T-shirt with “Ball So Hard University” printed on the front. The only problem was that Suggs didn’t create or sell the shirt himself; he bought it from someone on the Internet.


Continue Reading Losing The Race To Trademark Sports Catchphrases

It’s that time of year again. College campuses around the country are buzzing, co-workers are whispering about office pools, and “bracketology” is the popular science of the day. The NCAA men’s basketball tournament season, aka “March Madness,” has begun. To tap into the vast media audiences generated by the NCAA Tournament (the “Tournament”), ambush marketers have started populating the market with basketball-themed promotional materials. There is little doubt that ambush marketers can legally draw on generic basketball symbols and complimentary imagery to tie into the excitement surrounding the Tournament without exposing themselves to a meaningful risk of liability to the NCAA as the Tournament operator. But what about using the phrase “March Madness”?
 


Continue Reading March Madness Isn’t for Everyone

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) profits handsomely from the increasingly lucrative collegiate licensing and merchandising market— estimated to be worth $4 billion annually. Yet, current and former NCAA athletes


Continue Reading In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation: Former Athletes Seek A Share Of NCAA Licensing Profits

Although the WGA strike is reportedly near an end, the strike has naturally made it harder to find paid acting jobs in film and television, causing a greater number of Hollywood celebrities (and their agents and other reps) to pursue endorsement opportunities and the money that follows.  The money, however, doesn’t just go to the celebrities and their reps.  It also goes to the trustees of the applicable guild’s Pension and Health Plan.  The amounts being claimed by the trustees, and in some cases the threshold issue of whether the trustees are entitled to ANY amounts, are increasingly being challenged.  This blog entry briefly discusses the allocation issue and the jurisdiction issue.


Continue Reading Endorsement Agreements: Guild Jurisdiction And Allocation Guidelines Both Being Challenged