NCAA tries to stop Boston Globe from trademarking ‘Munch Madness’

The NCAA has asked US Patent and Trademark Office to stop the Boston Globe from trademarking “Munch Madness,” which is the paper’s annual “tournament of restaurants.” The college basketball folks fear that people might confuse the Globe’s promotion with their “March Madness” tournament.

I asked Globe editor Marty Baron for his reaction. He emailed:

We have a hard time imagining any confusion. It’s not as if folks are going to confuse foul and fowl, free throw and free-range, or MVP and EVOO.

Comments

comments

2 comments
  1. Quasi3000 said:

    Confusion? Seems to me they trademarked “March Madness,” not “Munch Madness.” they should own the term they trademarked, nothing else.

  2. Before the “No Regulations R Us” crowd gets off and running …

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark_dilution

    “A trademark is diluted when the use of similar or identical trademarks in other non-competing markets means that the trademark in and of itself will lose its capacity to signify a single source. In other words, unlike ordinary trademark law, dilution protection extends to trademark uses that do not confuse consumers regarding who has made a product. Instead, dilution protection law aims to protect sufficiently strong trademarks from losing their singular association in the public mind with a particular product …”

    (Note the use of quotes, Jim.)

    To summarize: When you own a trademark, you defend it. You snooze; you lose.