Trademark Foolishness – “Ball So Hard University”

This story was interesting.  For some NFL games, they film player introductions.  The player says their name and where they went to college.  As a joke, Terrell Suggs said he went to “Ball So Hard University”, instead of his actual university.  Most professional athletes know they were exploited in college, and have no loyalty to their school.

Brian Brussels starting making “Ball So Hard University” T-Shirts and selling them.  He filed a trademark for “Ball So Hard University”.  Terrell Suggs filed a competing trademark application, and now there is a lawsuit.

This is a problem with our legal system in the USA.  Whenever someone invents a popular new phrase, it is trademarked.  Nobody else may then use that phrase.

A patent lasts for only 34 years.  A copyright is of theoretically limited duration, but with retroactive copyright extensions, copyright lasts forever.  A tradermark lasts forever.

That’s not right.  Just because someone owns a trademark on a word or phrase, everyone else is barred from using it forever?

Another recent example is the trademark dispute over “Linsanity”.

This is a defect with the legal system and culture in the USA.  Every new word or phrase is trademarked and owned by someone.  “Intellectual property” is not property.

2 Responses to Trademark Foolishness – “Ball So Hard University”

  1. A trademark lasts forever, but its conditional on you legally attacking people using what is trademarked. If you don’t you lose it.

    • That’s also true for copyright. If you don’t enforce it aggressively, a court may rule you abandoned it.

      That’s one really offensive bit about State law. Copyright law and trademark law force “owners” to aggressively go after every infringement, no matter how minor.

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