Mascot Rights

Bear1.jpg

Camden College announced earlier this week that it has begun a campaign to preserve its mascot from copyright infringement.

Camden, whose mascot is the bear, is apparently willing to sue the roughly 350 other American colleges that use some version of mammals of Ursidae family as a symbol in sports. According to Camden legal counsel Mitchell Allen:

Technically any other college’s use of the bear constitutes trademark infringement. This leads to confusion and misunderstanding in the marketing-intense, big-money world of collegiate sports.

People could think something is being sponsored by Camden, but it actually wasn’t. so then they’d like, go all up to New Hampshire thinking their favorite team was palying, but in fact, they’d be no game and it would just happen because someone saw something about the bears on ESPN. But it would actually be a game at, like, Kutztown University. Wouldn’t that be sad?

While many, many colleges use the bear mascot, within the last year Camden somehow managed to trademark the name. Cornell University, which often uses a bear mascot, said in a statement released this morning that it was planning to ignore the lawsuit. “It’s a freakin’ bear. You can’t trademark that.”

According to Camden, other colleges would have to either change their mascots or pay Camden an annual fee to use “its” bear.

Baylor University, Belmont University, Berkeley, Bowdoin, Brown, the University of Central Arkansas, the University of Northern Colorado , Missouri State University, the University of Montana, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy all also indicated that they believed the lawsuit to be ridiculous.

Allen said that Camden also indicated it might consider demanding that Bear Lake, a natural freshwater lake on the Utah-Idaho border, be renamed.

“You’re an idiot,” said John Barksdale, a spokesman for the U.S. Geological Survey. [Image via]

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