I just found out, to my great horror, that the UPA has trademarked the phrase “Spirit of the Game”. This must be the greatest oxymoron in Ultimate history!
Discraft resellers have already been told that they can not put the phrase “Spirit of the Game” on discs unless they have approval from the UPA. That is insane! Is this Ultimate? Is this the Spirit of the Game?
I have asked the UPA for clarification but so far they have failed to respond to my emails. Is this
patent trademark worldwide? Can you actually do this? Take a phrase that has been used since the beginning of the sport and trademark it? What about the name Ultimate? Is the next step to trademark our game and we all pay the UPA for playing it? Or lets trademark the stall count: stall one™… stall two™… stall three™…
I can’t believe this. I am shocked!
UPDATE: reponse from Sandie Hammerly (Executive Director UPA)
The Ultimate Players Association does own the US trademark registration on the mark “Spirit of the Game” (since 1997), as well as SOTG, Ultimate Players Association and UPA.
While I was not a part of the UPA when this process was started, I can assure you that the organization’s goal in doing this was not to keep players and organizers from using the marks, but to protect our sport and players from commercial entities and business who might acquire the mark and prevent us from using it unless a licensing fee was paid…or possibly not at all.
When organizers have asked us for permission to use the mark, to the best of my knowledge, we have never said no.