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Penn State Applies For ‘Happy Valley’ Trademark

Take a walk through downtown State College stores and you’ll find everything from t-shirts to shot glasses smattered with “Happy Valley” across it. Penn State is hoping to regulate that with a trademark filing last month.

The university filed a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “Happy Valley,” according to the Centre Daily Times. The trademark, which was not renewed by a previous entity that held it, is intended for officially-licensed merchandise.

“There is now an opportunity to not only continue using the term appropriately, but also to protect against possible improper use of the federal registration of Happy Valley by a third party – for example, not allowing a vendor to tie the term with the promotion of excessive drinking,” Penn State spokesperson Rachel Pell wrote in a statement.

“Penn State recognizes the importance of this term to the community, and is committed to working with local government and business leaders. We will be meeting with local stakeholders in the coming months.”

There isn’t one ultimate tale of how Penn State, or the surrounding area, was first tied to the term “Happy Valley.”

Some attribute the link to the fact that State College was not hit hard during the Great Depression. The university claims the term was used as early as the 1950s and was popularized by sports writers and broadcasters who covered Penn State football. Penn State historians have discussed their takes on the origin.

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About the Author

Steve Connelly

Unfortunately, former editor Steve Connelly has graduated. Where is he now? He might be doing something related to that PR degree he got in 2019. Maybe he finally opened that sports bar named after one of his photos, the Blurry Zamboni. Or he might just be eating chicken tenders and couch surfing. Anything’s possible. If you really want to know, follow him on Twitter @slc2o.


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