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Penn State Granted ‘Happy Valley’ Trademark For Apparel

Nearly a year after applying to protect “Happy Valley,” Penn State was granted the trademark by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Tuesday.

The trademark protects the use of “Happy Valley” on headwear, shirts, and sweatshirts without any claim to particular font style, size, or color.

“Our goal has always been to protect the term ‘Happy Valley’ from nefarious use not consistent with Penn State or the community’s values,” Penn State spokesperson Wyatt DuBois said in a statement.

Local stores that sell Happy Valley shirts will still be able do so without being charged fees. In the statement, DuBois said the university plans to work with the Downtown Improvement District, Centre County Visitors Bureau and Centre Region Council of Governments to formalize a system moving forward.

“We will continue to work with local businesses and community stakeholders in and around State College and Centre County to codevelop a process and usage guidelines that serve the interests of our collective community and protect the “Happy Valley” trademark,” he said. “Area tourism, marketing and business goals and needs have been, and will continue to be, a central focus of these discussions.”

The trademark was added to the Patent and Trademark Office’s supplemental register, which means the university doesn’t have the presumption of federal ownership — although it can sue others for using it and prevent them from registering it. The university initially applied for principal registration, but amended the application after it was rejected in March.

If you’re interested in the technicalities of the trademark, here’s a fairly detailed description of principal and supplemental registration.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected]. All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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