March Madness is one of the biggest sporting events of the year. From surprising upsets to Cinderella runs, there is never a shortage of suspense and excitement.
When people hear the name, the first thing that comes to mind is the NCAA Tournament. With that being said, many wonder if the league has the phrase trademarked.
To answer the question, yes, the phrase "March Madness" is trademarked by the NCAA. They first tried to land the trademark in the 1990s, but were beaten to the punch by the IHSA. After a ruling from the Seventh circuit, both establishments were granted dual use of the term.
Is "March Madness" the only phrase trademarked by the NCAA?
Along with the most common phrase, the NCAA has made sure to trademark many other terms and phrases. Most of them are centered around the yearly tournament.
The list of other trademarks the NCAA has includes "Final Four," "The Big Dance," "Elite Eight" and "March Mayhem." They also have "NCAA Sweet Sixteen" because the original phrase was trademarked by the High School Atheltic Association in Kentucky.
As far as these trademarks go, the NCAA is very strict on enforcing them. Due to the tournament's popularity, many have tried to capitalize on it. But no matter how big or small the offense, the NCAA always has its eyes peeled.
If a business wants to promote the tournament or use the phrase in any way, they need licensing from the NCAA. Even if they try to change up the wording to sneak by, the league is sure to meet them with a cease-and-desist order from an attorney.
When is the NCAA tournament set to begin?
As February comes to a close, it's almost time to break out the brackets. There are just a few more weeks before 68 teams will compete to earn a spot in the NCAA championship game.
Looking at the NCAA's schedule, the tournament festivities are set to begin on March 12 with Selection Sunday. Games begin on March 14.
March Madness is set to run all through March, with the Final Four scheduled for April 1. The final two teams will play for the championship on April 3. This year, NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, will host the Final Four.