Cease & Desist

Trademark Violation Madness

Casinos, travel agencies, porn sites, even NASA—it seems everyone is using March Madness these days to illegally promote their products, and the NCAA isn’t happy about it. The NCAA has been clamping down on unaffiliated promoters like NASA, whom the league recently asked to discontinue “Mission Madness,” a promotion that lets fans vote (bracket-style) on top space missions. Lawyers say that The NCAA has to protect its trademarks to maintain their value, which—according to a legal expert who’s a also a counsel for the NCAA—has been a particularly difficult task during the recession: “The downward economy has created a spike in unauthorized activity," he says. "When times are tough, instead of spending your money to get sales, you try to leverage off of other people's investments."