NCAA Fails to Appear for Trademark Trial, Files New Suit Entirely

On March 4, 2018, two owners of Southern California Ford dealerships filed for dismissal or staying of a trademark infringement suit initiated by the NCAA, while the parties await decision on the same issue from the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB). The NCAA initiated a suit in response to the dealerships’ uses of “Markdown Madness,” claiming the slogan could easily be confused with the NCAA’s “March Madness.” Dealership owners and defendants, Ken Grody Management, Inc. and Dixon Ford, Inc., had already been defending the…
Continue reading...

Legal Fees Sought After NCAA Trademark Suit Deemed “Exceptional Case”

As we have previously reported, the NCAA has recently triumphed over a year-long trademark suit when its motion requesting an entry of default was granted back in January 2018, and a default judgment rendered thereafter. The suit alleged that defendants Robert Alexander and Kizzang LLC had infringed, diluted, and unfairly competed with the NCAA by using and attempting to register the marks “April Madness” and “Final 3.” The marks were strikingly similar to the NCAA’s well-known trademarks of “March Madness” and the “Final…
Continue reading...

Nike OK’d to Continue Using “Jumpman” Logo

On February 27, 2018 the Ninth Circuit ruled that Nike’s use of its iconic “Jumpman” logo did not infringe on copyrights to a 1984 image of Michael Jordan, as captured by photographer Jacobus Rentmeester. Following more than three years of litigation — and though the decision was split — Nike may continue to use the image without legal repercussions. Rentmeester originally shot and used the image of Jordan in a mid-air, “grand jeté-inspired pose,” which was featured in a 1984 issue of Life
Continue reading...

NCAA Wins Another Trademark Infringement Suit

On January 18, 2018, U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson granted the NCAA’s motion, and subsequently, entered a default judgement against Kizzang LLC. Kizzang provides online sweepstakes and fantasy sports entertainment services. As we have previously covered, the suit originally began in March 2017 when the NCAA opposed Kizzang’s attempt to register the marks “April Madness” and “Final 3.” The NCAA sued Kizzang alleging trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition. The NCAA complained that Kizzang’s marks infringed, diluted, and unfairly competed with the…
Continue reading...

Texas A&M “12th Man” Copyright Suit Continues

On January 16, 2017, author Michael J. Bynum filed a motion in response to Texas A&M’s University Athletic Department, the Texas A&M University 12th Man Foundation, and three school employees (collectively Texas A&M), motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. According to the original complaint, in January 2014, Texas A&M posted on its website the “heart” of Mr. Bynum unpublished book, 12th Man: The Life and Legend of Texas A&M’s E. King Gill, “nearly word-for-word” without Bynum’s permission. Thus, according to…
Continue reading...

Dispute Over the Trademark “Green Jacket” Continues

On January 10, 2018, Green Jacket Auctions filed suit in Georgia federal court and back on January 2, 2018, Green Jacket Auctions filed an identical suit in Florida federal court. Both suits seek to prevent the transfer of the domain name “greenjacketauctions.com” from Green Jacket Auctions to Augusta National, Inc., host of the annual Masters Golf Tournament. Green Jacket Auctions is an online golf memorabilia auctioneer and appraiser. The company was formed in 2006 by its two, and only employees, Ryan Carey and Bob Zafian.…
Continue reading...

Fight over the Mark “Golden Knights”

On January 10, 2018, the Department of the Army filed two notices of opposition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to oppose the marks “Vegas Golden Knights,” and “Las Vegas Golden Knights.” The marks were filed by Black Knights Sports Entertainment, LLC. Black Knights Sports Entertainment and its majority owner, Bill Foley, are the owners of the recent National Hockey League expansion team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights. In August 2017, Black Knights Sports Entertainment, LLC completed the registration application and from the…
Continue reading...

More Ripken Baseball Camps Added to Complaint in Patent Infringement Fight

A Maryland federal court on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, granted Zito LLC, a company suing Cal Ripken Jr.’s baseball camps, a chance to amend its complaint against the retired player’s camps over patent infringement, finding that adding four more Ripken-owned camps would not prejudice the company. The Ripken camps had argued that the amendment would be made in bad faith because they allege the additional parties are unrelated and the additions were made as a work-around for an inability to change the theory of infringement.…
Continue reading...

NCAA Hopes for Slam Dunk in Trademark Infringement Suit

The NCAA, on November 13, 2017, asked for a default judgment and a permanent injunction against Kizzang LLC and its owner, Robert Alexander, for alleged trademark infringement of “March Madness” and “Final Four.” A judge had issued a stipulated order back in March under which Alexander and Kizzang agreed not to use “April Madness” or “Final 3” in its online fantasy games. The suit was originally filed in March 2017, less than a week before the NCAA’s annual Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. It…
Continue reading...

U.S. Army Shoots Back at Holding that “West Point” is Not a Registrable Trademark

An examiner at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board refused to register the U.S. Army’s military academy crest and the words “Army West Point” unless the Army disclaimed the words “West Point.” The examiner ruled that “West Point” was not a registrable trademark, but rather a “primarily geographically descriptive” name, referring to the town of West Point, New York. Last year, the Army applied to register the famous military academy’s crest — an Athena helmet on a shield with the words “Duty Honor Country West…
Continue reading...