DRIP – 600×100
Collx Main Banner

When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.

Trademark of the Week: Ball So Hard University

Trademark of the Week: Ball So Hard University

The point of Trademark of the Week is not to point out the best athlete and trading card marks, but rather, to comment on some of the most noticeable. Or interesting. Or trademarks with an actual story.

Along those lines, this week's Trademark of the Week is courtesy of Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs' five trademark applications for "Ball So Hard University."

Trademark translation: No, Ball So Hard is not a real university. It's not a reference to Ball State (although that would have been great) or to an adult film. It's actually a reference to a Jay-Z song that Suggs made more famous by announcing that he attended, "Ball So Hard University" when the linebacker was introduced during a Pittsburgh v. Baltimore game last season.

After Suggs announced Ball So Hard was his alma mater (it's not, he went to ASU), it went viral and became a money maker. Now Suggs (through his production company called, Team Sizzle Films, Inc.) is protecting those rights.

You see, athlete trademarks other than nicknames can be valuable. Catchphrases have value too, as you can see from the sheer volume of Ball So Hard University "swag" for sale on Suggs and Team Sizzle's website. With trademark registrations in hand, Suggs will place himself in a powerful position to nationally protect his catchphrase.

Suggs is not the only player to capitalize on (and protect) catchphrases. In fact, his filing can be seen as a predecessor filing (since Suggs' filings are from Nov. 2011) to Bryce Harper's more recent catch phrase, "That's a Clown Question, Bro." Immediately after Harper responded to a reporter's question with this answer, his team filed a trademark application for that very phrase to stop other vendors from making money off of it. Days later, it was announced that Under Armour would be the exclusive vendor for a Clown Question line of clothing.

So, just like that, athlete catchphrases can make money.

Since athletes are in the public eye, it's much easier for their catch phrases or nicknames to be misappropriated by others. And that's why immediate filings are important. This helps avoid situations like the "linsane" mess where they will have to fight it out with others over who should actually own the trademark.

So, congratulations to Sugg's for quickly protecting the "Ball So Hard University" trademarks. Let's hope other athletes follow suit.

For those interested, the information on Suggs' trademark filing is provided below:

Goods and ServicesIC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037   038 050. G & S: Paper goods, namely, art prints, posters, unmounted and   mounted photographs, notebooks, and sports trading cards
Standard Characters Claimed
Serial Number85475990
Filing DateNovember 18, 2011
Current Basis1B
Original Filing Basis1B
Published for OppositionMay 1, 2012
Owner(APPLICANT) Team Sizzle Films,   Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE Suite 201 4800 Roland Avenue Baltimore MARYLAND   21210
Attorney of RecordKimberly S. Grimsley
Live/Dead IndicatorLIVE


The information provided in Paul Lesko's "Law of Cards" column is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues commonly encountered in the sports industry. This information is not intended to create any legal relationship between Paul Lesko, the Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC or any attorney and the user. Neither the transmission nor receipt of these website materials will create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the readers.

The views expressed in the "Law of Cards" column are solely those of the author and are not affiliated with the Simmons Law Firm. You should not act or rely on any information in the "Law of Cards" column without seeking the advice of an attorney. The determination of whether you need legal services and your choice of a lawyer are very important matters that should not be based on websites or advertisements.

Trademark of the Week: Ball So Hard University 1Making purchases through affiliate links can earn the site a commission
Paul Lesko has litigated complex and intellectual property actions for over 18 years. Don’t hold the fact that Paul is a lawyer against him, he’s also a rabid baseball and college basketball fan, and an avid card collector. He's also the author of the novel Gastric Bypass, available for purchase at Amazon. Paul can be found on Twitter @Paul_Lesko and Google+.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.