California Intellectual Property Blog


UMBC Retrievers Seek Trademarks After March Madness Win

San Diego – The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Retrievers, a No. 16 seed, had a win no one saw coming during March Madness in Charlotte, NC. The Retrievers played the Virginia Cavaliers, a Number 1 seed, and took the nation by surprise when they won the game in convincing fashion, 74-54. This marked the first time in the history of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament that a Number 16 seed defeated a No. 1 seed.

Throughout the game, Jairus Lyles led the team to the win, as the whole team was energized from his confidence, which only seemed to shake Virginia more. The game really took a turn when Lyles made a three-pointer with 14:57 left on the clock which put the Retrievers up by 14 points. Although Virginia had plenty of time to make their come back, they did not appear confident that they could win the game.

UMBC was not ready for such a big triumph in many ways. With all of the attention that the win created for the program, the leadership of the school quickly made a decision to file several trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office including for “UMBC Retrievers” which had never been done. UMBC Athletic director Tim Hall also quickly approved trademark applications for “Retriever Nation” and “16 over 1.”

“UMBC wanted to make sure that it took the necessary steps to be proactive as its athletics brand became the most talked about topic in the world,” according to Heitner. It was widely reported that the school submitted Class 25 filings for each trademark, meaning the trademarks will cover clothing and footwear. As of this writing however, none of the trademark applications could be confirmed. Typically trademark applications show up with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office within 3 business days of filing.

Merchandise is quickly being sold from the UMBC bookstore, which had to open over the winning weekend to keep up with demand. On Sunday, the Cinderella story quickly ended as UMBC was defeated by Kansas State which eliminated the Retrievers from the tournament. Regardless of the loss, the players were still enjoying the upset win. Daniel Akin said, “No one can take away the feeling of beating the No. 1 team in the country” and Arkel Lamar added, “I’m still in disbelief.”


Happy Clients: