St. Pat’s Day and NCAA’s March Madness

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Living Examples of the Free & Open Philosophy

Who Owns St. Pat's Day?

In the United States, we all can celebrate St. Patrick's Day. The greater Irish-American community, as well as all the people who are not Irish, can claim St. Patrick. No trade marks exist on the color green or the clover icon. Pittsburgh is the home of the second oldest St. Patrick's Day Parade. This parade is Pittsburgh's biggest parade of the year.

Meanwhile, in Belfast, Ireland, 1999 marks only the second St. Patrick's Day Parade, and some are boycotting. Ireland's struggles are epic.

In the United States, the notion of Free Religion set forth in our constitution makes St. Patrick's Day so special. St. Pat's Day is popular because it is FREE to be popular. Should there be a national requirement, as does happen with official church status in Ireland, then there are winners and loosers by policy. Everyone wins when things are set free.

Who Owns March Madness?

March Madness is a trade-marked asset owned by the NCAA. If a store holds a "March Madness" sale -- expect to get a letter from the NCAA lawyers.

Just for fun, read the newspapers and listen to the radio to make notes of all of the businesses that hold or advertise "March Madness" events. Then, forward that information to the legal team at NCAA.org. This helps to keep the legal department of the NCAA off the streets at night, perhaps protecting the rights of some student-athletes in the process.

About the author 

Mark Rauterkus

Webmaster and long-time open-source advocate. Also a swim, water polo and SKWIM coach in Pittsburgh.

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