UK v. Commonwealth of Kentucky: Trademark battle over 'Kentucky'

Posted at 12:06 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 13:52:22-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The University of Kentucky has opposed the trademark application for "TEAM KENTUCKY" filed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

According to Lexington trademark attorney Josh Gerben, The University is in a trademark battle over ownership of the word "KENTUCKY" when it comes to clothing products.

UK claims consumers are likely to think any clothing products sold by the state using the trademark "TEAM KENTUCKY" are products sold by the University.

Gerben says the federal trademark registration grants the University of Kentucky the "presumption of national ownership" around the word KENTUCKY as it relates to clothing.

But because the Commonwealth of Kentucky's mark is for "TEAM KENTUCKY" as opposed to just one word "KENTUCKY," Gerben says the case is likely to fail.