RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — A new controversy has VCU basketball fans fired up.
Less than a week after learning head coach Shaka Smart was leaving for Texas, Rams fans now finding out Texas wants to trademark the word “HAVOC.”
On the very day UT hired Smart, it also filed for federal trademarks on the terms “HORNS HAVOC” and “HOUSE OF HAVOC.”
“It’s a bit of an odd move because you know they’re going to get into it with VCU if they do that,” says University of Richmond law professor Jim Gibson, “But if VCU hasn’t actually applied for their own federal registration, I think Texas has a good chance of getting that registration and having that mark recognized as a Texas mark.”
Gibson explains that if Texas gets its trademarks, both schools could still brand their programs with the word HAVOC.
VCU, however, would likely only own the rights to HAVOC in Virginia, where it’s already registered with the state.
Ram Nation is understandably upset.
“We’re honored that you all would want to take that name, But its VCU’s and you cant take that baby. It’s all ours. We are HAVOC,” insists Rams Fan Demi Carter.
Another fan, Pat Middleton says “That belongs to VCU and only VCU, so if they want something, they’re going to have to think of it for themselves.”
VCU Vice President Pamela DiSalvo Lepley responded by saying, “”It is my understanding that trademark rights come through use, not registration, which means that VCU owns the rights that have developed in its use of HAVOC in connection with our athletics program.”
Legal experts agree there is truth to that statement but that federal trademarks could very well trump the team’s right to use HAVOC anywhere but here in Virginia.