NCAA Files Trademark for ‘Battle in the Bubble’

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Timothy Nwachukwu/NCAA Photos via Getty Images.

Aug 31, 2020, 11:08 AM EDT

The NBA and the NHL have been successful in their bubbles and, if a new trademark filing is any indication, the NCAA is at least getting ready to be next.

Last week, the NCAA filed to trademark the phrase “Battle in the Bubble,” with the intent to use it both as the name on tournaments, not exclusive to basketball, and to use the phrase on clothing to sell merchandise.

Trademark attorney Josh Gerben said that the word “bubble” seems to be in the common domain and therefore is likely not trademarkable. But a modification of bubble, like the WNBA, which is seeking to trademark “Wubble,” or a phrase like “Battle in the Bubble” should have no problem getting through.

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Earlier this month, NCAA president Mark Emmert told Andy Katz in an interview that bubbles would be “perfectly viable in many sports.”

“It’s obviously expensive to do that, but we’re not going to hold a championship in a way that puts student-athletes at risk.”

With virtual schooling in place for many, creating a bubble where participating students would be away from school, but still taking classes, seems more viable.

NCAA-owned trademarks include “March Madness,” “Final Four,” “Elite Eight,” “NCAA Sweet 16,” “68 Teams, One Dream,” “And Then There Were Four,” “Road To The Final Four,” “History Happens Here,” “The Road Starts Here” and “The Road Ends Here” among others.

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