Daniel Foster

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To aid in understanding the prevalence of personal athlete logos and the trend of ownership and design, Section II will outline the history of this area of trademark law in the United States. It will provide background on the theory of trademark ownership and the development of this intellectual property discipline in the athletic and celebrity sphere. Section II will look at the two common and distinct processes, a company-designed logo versus an athlete-designed logo, and the modern trends in this area. Moving on from this historical discussion, Section III will examine the 2021 decision of NCAA v. Alston, the NCAA policy change that followed, and the potential impacts of this decision on the intellectual property and specifically the trademark law world. Finally, this will lead into a discussion of the potential long-term economic impacts on endorsement companies and how this shift will affect the economic landscape of how athletic and other brands will pursue sponsorship and personal athlete branding in the future. In conclusion, this examination will highlight the perceivably strong impact Alston and the NIL policy shift will have on athlete trademarks going forward, moving towards a license-centric market.

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