San Diego State Seeks “I Believe That We Will Win” Trademark

By Joseph Mandour on July 21, 2014

basketballSan Diego – The chant adopted by the U.S. soccer team at the World Cup could soon start paying dividends for San Diego State University, which actually began using the trademark several years ago. The phrase, “I believe that we will win!” has been chanted during the school’s basketball games and has been sold on apparel. Recently, the school made the move to acquire the trademark to help prevent other similar uses.

San Diego State University’s attempt to trademark the phrase could become a reality soon as the trademark publishes for opposition on July 22nd. The final chapter of this saga is unfolding as the chant caught fire during the FIFA World Cup that just concluded in Brazil. Although the U.S. soccer team did not get far, the chant became extremely popular. The recent popularity of the phrase could make it a moneymaker for the school if can register the federal trademark.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s online database shows that in October 2011, Aztec Shops Ltd., a clothing store in San Diego State University’s Student Union, filed a trademark for the phrase for use on apparel such as caps, hats, jackets, T-shirts, and sweatshirts.

If SDSU gets its trademark, others who wish to use it may reach out to San Diego State for licensing. That said, it is not certain that San Diego State University will get the trademark. It appears that the chant may have started at Navy in the late 1990s and since then has also been used by Utah State since 2009. It is believed to have originated at the Naval Academy’s Prep School.

If any other institution has already used it commercially before San Diego State, they could still oppose the trademark based on prior use. Starting July 22, anyone who is opposed to the trademark will have 30 days to challenge it. SDSU officials say their goal with seeking to trademark the phrase is not to stop high school or little league teams from using the chant. They say it is about protecting the school’s ability to continue using the phrase on its merchandise.

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