SBD/July 24, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

"I Believe" Trademark Could Spark Legal Battle Between Utah State, San Diego State

SDSU is the first to file for federal trademark protection of "I Believe"
Utah State Univ. officials said that they are "still deciding how to respond" to San Diego State Univ.’s attempts to trademark the slogan "I believe that we will win," according to Lya Wodraska of the SALK LAKE TRIBUNE. USU in '12 "trademarked variations of the slogan" and in February of this year "trademarked the whole slogan." However, USU "used a state trademark, whereas San Diego State is going after a federal trademark." USU officials said that the school "started using the chant" in '10-11 and "wants full control of how the slogan is used." SDSU "filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for usage of the slogan on any caps, hats, jackets, bottoms, shirts, T-shirts, sweatshirts and other clothing articles that use the words." Tuesday "marked the beginning of a 30-day period in which others can file concerns with the patent office over the request" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 7/24). In Birmingham, Creg Stephenson noted the chant "became a national phenomenon earlier this summer when used in conjunction with the U.S. Men's National Team's run through the FIFA World Cup." USU fans "have also been doing the cheer since" at least '09. Navy is "widely credited with originating the chant" at a '03 game against Air Force, and one "enterprising Midshipman began selling t-shirts bearing the slogan later that year." But it appears that SDSU is the "first to file for federal trademark protection" (AL.com, 7/22).
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