Penn State University has filed a trademark application to protect the phrase “Happy Valley”. Officials from Penn State were quoted as stating they want this application to be a deterrent against third-parties from using the phrase in an improper context.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted Josh Gerben in regards to the chances of the application making it to the registration phase:
Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney in Washington, D.C., tweeted about the Penn State application Dec. 28, calling it a “trademark ‘land grab.’”
He said Happy Valley should remain in the public domain, since the university did not create the expression and the words are used broadly in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. He said others should be able to profit from it.
“It’s a generally accepted term for a geographic area in which the university happens to reside,” he said. “It seems out of place for the university to come in and say they should be the exclusive provider of Happy Valley clothing throughout the country. That’s exactly what they are asking to do.”
Article: Schackner, B. “We Are! … Happy Valley? Penn State applies for trademark on moniker”. Post-Gazette.com. January 2 2019.