Over the weekend the Tribune ran two articles on trademark suits. The first on Friday – ‘March Madness’ Use Approved – reported on a trademark suit in Cook County Circuit Court between Intersport, a Chicago-based sports media company, and the NCAA. Intersport brought the action for, it appears, declaratory judgment that Intersport’s license with the NCAA allowed it to use the NCAA’s March Madness mark in connection with college-basketball related programming on wireless devices. Circuit Judge Palmer held that Intersport could use the mark for distributing content "in any manner, including but not limited to distribution to video-enabled mobile wireless media devices." The Tribune reports that Cingular Wireless, one of the NCAA’s sponsors, offered wireless scores and highlights last year. Last year, Intersport produced basketball-related wireless content for Sprint, but was barred from using the March Madness mark. This year, it appears they will be free to use the mark.
The second Tribune story – Tribune Wants Fox `Red Eye’ Title Closed by Phil Rosenthal – is about the federal trademark suit the Tribune filed last week against Fox. The Tribune claims that Fox’s new "Red Eye" news program violates the Tribune’s federal trademark for its RedEye newspaper. The Tribune’s complaint argues that consumers were led to believe that the Tribune and Fox are collaborating on Fox’s Red Eye program. We will likely see more of this case on the Blog as opinions start to be issued.