NCAA seeks trademark on 'Battle in the Bubble'

The NCAA has applied to trademark the phrase "Battle in the Bubble," which could apply to tournaments and other future athletic events as well as branded apparel.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office received the NCAA's application Wednesday, which was filed by attorney Douglas Masters. In addition to clothing items and footwear, the trademarked phrase could apply to "live athletic contests, games, tournaments and exhibitions" and the NCAA's television, radio and multimedia programs around those events. The list of clothing items in the NCAA's application includes athletic uniforms.

NCAA president Mark Emmert and others recently have discussed the potential of a bubble structure for tournaments, noting the success of the NBA.

"It's something we've been talking about and studying for some time, since the NBA shared their plan," Dan Gavitt, the NCAA's vice president of basketball, told ESPN earlier this month. "We've had a chance to see its execution. We know that it works."

The NCAA Division I board postponed all fall sports championships because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, targeting the spring as an option for rescheduling. The NCAA does not determine the championship structure in the FBS, and the College Football Playoff is still planning to take place in early January.

The NCAA already owns several trademarked phrases, mostly applying to its annual basketball tournaments, such as "March Madness," "Final Four" and "Road to the Final Four."