“Vasectomy Mayhem” Does Not Sound Super Professional 

This is the worst thing the NCAA has ever done.

Here is a brief list of facts:

  • The annual NCAA men’s college basketball tournament is often referred to as “March Madness”, a trademark the NCAA owns.

  • The NCAA also owns a trademark on “March Mayhem”, though it does not appear they use in any way.

  • Because of the popularity of the tournament and the number of games broadcast on TV throughout the day, March is a peak time for doctors performing vasectomies.

Now we come to our story, wherein the NCAA is fighting the Virginia Urology Center, after the latter ran a “Vasectomy Mayhem” promotion. Trademark law often rest on whether two different names might be confused with one another, or imply some association between them. That seems more than a little ridiculous. As one wag put it, the NCAA must have a pretty cocky lawyer.

Let’s give the final word on this to aptly-named trademark lawyer Eric Ball:

Ball told Law360 that the TTAB case over “Vasectomy Mayhem” was an “overreach” but probably effective. “This level of aggressiveness acts as an inoculation to make others think twice before using any advertising that allude to the big event. If they succeed in scaring away the fair use, then they save the cost of having to bring another weak claim.”