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March Madness is a term that is used to describe the tumultuous frenzy that the NCAA college basketball tournament sparks in college basketball fans across the country. March Madness originally referred to the conference college basketball tournament that occurs in March, before the actual NCAA tournament. Now the term March Madness is referenced when speaking about the entire men’s and women’s NCAA college basketball tournament.
March Madness is a registered trademark of the NCAA and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), but the March Madness partnership was not a true partnership at the beginning. H.V Porter, an assistant manager of the IHSA, later a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, was the first person to use the term March Madness to memorialize a basketball tournament. In 1939, Porter published an essay entitled March Madness, and in 1942, Porter used the term March Madness in a phrase in his poem, Basketball Ides of March. It states: “Let their sons tread where hate is dead; in a happy Madness of March”.
Porter’s frequent use of the March Madness phrase popularized the term in
The March Madness connection to the NCAA basketball tournament began in 1982, when Brent Mustburger, who worked in Chicago, Illinois before joining CBS, was the first person to use the term March Madness during CBS Sports coverage of the NCAA tournament and there after. In the 1990’s, IHSA and the NCAA finally thought about registering the March Madness term as a trademark, but Intersport, Inc., a small television production company, beat them both to the punch. Intersport, Inc. trademarked March Madness first. IHSA eventually bought the trademark from Intersport, Inc., but that victory would be short lived. IHSA then sued GTE Vantage, Inc. (NCAA licensing) because of use of the term March Madness for a college basketball computer game based on the NCAA tournament. In an historic ruling in ISHA vs. GTE (1996), the US Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, created a “dual-use trademark”, granting both ISHA and the NCAA, the right to trademark the term for their own purposes.
Later, the NCAA and IHSA joined forces and created the March Madness Athletic Association to organize licensing of trademark and investigate possible trademark infringement. Interestingly, Netfire, Inc. obtained the domain name marchmadness.com, and used it to post information about the NCAA tournament. The US Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit ruled that, in March Madness Athletic Association vs. Netfire, Inc. (2003), March Madness was not a generic term and ordered Netfire, Inc. to give up the domain name.
On Point is an independent Final Four travel package and ticket broker that specializes in sports travel packages and tickets to high demand events worldwide. The sports travel packages we offer can be catered to your individual desires and are sure to be an unforgettable experience. Though we offer pre-planned Final Four travel packages, with the many options we have available, On Point can arrange customized Final Four packages that no one else in the industry can provide.
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