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University of Kentucky at Odds With State Over Slogan

August 19, 2021

The University of Kentucky wants to block the state from trademarking the phrase “Team Kentucky,” USA Today reported.

The public flagship university filed a notice of opposition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Aug. 13. The notice argues that the state slogan could be confused with the university’s athletic clothing trademark and subsequently hurt apparel sales.

Kentucky governor Andy Beshear has used the slogan “Team Kentucky” since his 2019 campaign and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The commonwealth has until Sept. 22 to respond to the university’s notice.

“Under federal trademark law, UK is required to assert its ownership of trademarked words and images,” Jay Blanton, a spokesperson for the university, told USA Today. “The university acted in accordance with that federal regulation by filing this information with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. UK has been working alongside the governor’s office throughout this process.”

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