That’s My Logo

It’s not just other higher education institutions with similar names that colleges find troublesome. According to an article by Adam Himmelsbach in the New York Times, some colleges are now threatening to sue high schools, with similar mascots or other symbols, because surely they’re a threat or something. As Himmelsbach explains:

As high school sports have become more prevalent on television and the Internet, potential infringements have become more visible to licensing companies, universities and whistle-blowing college fans.

Universities have confronted high schools with which they have no discernible connection. Penn State, for instance, told Buna High School — 1,400 miles away in Texas — to change a Cougar logo that looked like its Nittany Lion. The University of Texas demanded that Gardner Edgerton High School in Kansas alter its Trailblazer logo, which was similar to the Longhorns’ design. Pittsburgh instructed Whitmer High in Toledo, Ohio, to stop using its Panther mark.

“Everybody’s aware now, and there’s nowhere to hide,” Rob Cleveland said menacingly. Cleveland is Ohio State University’s assistant director for trademarks and licensing.

Cleveland is apparently unaware that Ohio State is located in a city called Columbus (did they ask him?), Ohio State’s University Hall looks surprisingly like administration buildings on several other American college campuses, and the name Ohio is itself stolen from an Iroquois word O-Y-O, meaning “great river.”

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer