A Case Where Imitation Is Not Seen as the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Some would be flattered knowing that other people would try to copy or imitate their looks. Such is not the case as stated in The New York Times where universities are demanding that high schools with similar mascot logos be recreated. Several universities have come forward to address trademark violations against high schools that have the same mascot and feel that the high schools’ logos are too identical to their own logos. While hundreds of high schools across the country share the same mascots as college teams, the universities are going after high schools that they feel can be confused with their logo, or if they feel that the high schools’ logo is overshadowing or taking away from the university’s logo.

It’s not like this is a new problem, either. Obviously, high schools don’t just go and change their mascots, especially if they’ve had the same ones for years. The problem arises more frequently now because high school sports are much more televised and garner national attention. Before, high schools were not really in the spotlight when it came to sports, so their logos and mascots went unnoticed. The Counsel for the Collegiate Licensing Company, which represents the universities and colleges, have sent cease-and-desist letters to several high schools in relation to their school logos. This means that many of the schools are forced to spend thousands of dollars to change logos and colors on the school’s property, the student’s uniforms and gear, and anything else that may be declared too similar. These changes often do not come cheap. For example, a private school in Florida is estimating that the changes they will need to make will cost the school about $60,000.

The Collegiate Licensing Company, along with the universities, are stating that they understand high schools will have the same mascots as many colleges and universities across the country. All they are asking is that other schools create their own logos that do not take away from the university’s logos. The issue is attracting larger attention recently because the Collegiate Licensing Company has sent letters to at least four high schools demanding mascot changes, claiming their Gator logos were too similar to the University of Florida’s Gator logo, even though some of the schools in question were not even in Florida. Some of the high schools chose not to spend the money to fight to keep their logos, and instead spent the money on making the necessary changes, while some schools, such as one in Florida, are fighting back.

After Florida State University sent a letter demanding Southeast High School in Florida change their logo, the high school argued that their logo had been in place for over 30 years. The school also argued that their colors were orange and blue, while Florida State’s were garnet and gold. The two schools reached an agreement and the high school was able to keep the logo as long as it was the same one they had used in the past. The schools, along with the Collegiate Licensing Company, maintain they do not go around looking for schools to target and that they are not driven or motivated by money.

Did you enjoy this article?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button