A group of Virginia urologists are being challenged by the NCAA over the trademarking of the phrase "Vasectomy Mayhem," which the organization argues is too close to its tournament's "March Madness" moniker.
The NCAA filed a complaint to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's appeals board accusing Richmond-based Virginia Urology of improperly cashing in on its "March Madness" brand, NBC News reports.
The governing body of college sports argues that the "Vasectomy Mayhem" will "result in confusion, mistake or deception with petitioner and/or the goods and services marketed in connection with the NCAA," said Chicago-based lawyer Douglas Masters, who represents the NCAA.
Virginia Urology was granted use of "Vasectomy Mayhem" by the USPTO on September 1, and the NCAA responded by filing an appeal in February 4, which remains active as of March 12.
The NCAA has full marketing rights over "March Madness," as well as several slight variations of the famous phrase including "March Mayhem," "Midnight Madness" and "Munch Madness," according to the appeal obtained by NBC News.
The NCAA citation also argues Virginia Urology used the phrase "Hoops Madness" with twin basketballs used as the two "os" in "hoops," as well as other various ads that it argues violates its trademark of "March Madness" and related phrases.
Recovery from a vasectomy typically takes up to three days, which is why many have associated the procedure as an excuse for male basketball fans to call off work for the opening round of the NCAA March Madness tournament, including the Virginia Urology ads.
"Call now to align your couch time with optimal tube time for the best games," the practice said in the advertisement.
Dominic Madigan, a lawyer representing Virginia Urology, told NBC News he's confident the USPTO will approve the group's trademark.
"We don’t think anyone has confused our vasectomy ads with any other organization," Madigan said. "We are disappointed with this costly and unnecessary legal challenge, but will remain focused on caring for our community."
"March Madness," which was cancelled last year amid the beginning of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, will begin its 68-team tournament next Thursday (March 18.)
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