Community Issues

Penn State Loses "Happy Valley" Trademark Fight -- For Now

A federal trademark attorney says the phrase describes the whole region, not just PSU


Penn State has lost the first round in the school's attempt to trademark the iconic phrase "Happy Valley." An attorney for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected the university's trademark application, saying the words are geographically descriptive of the whole State College area, not just the university.

Penn State filed for the Happy Valley trademark last year after the trademark's previous owner, Nittany Embroidery & Digitizing, didn't renew it. The school wants to use the term on fan gear like hats, t-shirts and sweatshirts (image; PSU online bookstore ) , and claims the trademark application was not an effort to keep other businesses from using it.

The Centre County (PA) Times newspaper says U.S. Patent and Trademark Office attorney Kelley also called the way the school wants to use the phrase "ornamental" in rejecting the application. "With respect to clothing, consumers may recognize small designs or discrete wording as trademarks, rather than as merely ornamental features, when located, for example, on the pocket or breast area of a shirt," Wells wrote in the refusal. "Consumers may not, however, perceive larger designs or slogans as trademarks when such matter is prominently displayed across the front of a T-shirt."

Trademark attorney Josh Gerben, who is not associated with the case, called the application a "land grab" echoing attorney Wells contention that Happy Valley refers to the State College region, not just PSU. On his Twitter page, Gerben analyzes the decision line by line -- click here if you want to watch.

The Times says Penn State had no comment. The school has six months to respond to the ruling to keep the trademark fight alive.

You might like:

How can you start something good?
The Conversation
More stories you may love

Warning: This Community Program Is In Danger Of Shutting Down!

Watch to see why this program that serves children, adults, and people with special needs may go away if people don't step up NOW!

Volunteers Make "Secret Garden" Grow For Neighbors In Need

It's beautiful! A family's donation of land allows a Pittsburgh non-profit to provide healthy, fresh, organic produce to people who come to their food pantry.

Our Mission
Have you ever felt like there's just too much bad news? Ever felt like the world is hopeless, and you're helpless to do anything about it? We did too. That's why we created Sparkt™.
At Sparkt™, we tell powerful stories about great people making a difference in their communities, and we show you how you can make a difference too. Join us, and together, let's #StartSomethingGood!
Popular
Recent
Sparkt Newsletter
Get positive, uplifting stories in your inbox
Follow Us on Social Media
Download the Mobile App
Sparkt™ is a Rabble Holdings, Inc. Media Brand. © 2020 Rabble Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved.