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   Author  Topic: High School Names and logos for Promotional Produc  (Read 9562 times)


Posts: 1
High School Names and logos for Promotional Produc
« on: Oct 26th, 2004, 3:29pm »
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I would like some guidance on the following matter.
We are looking at the possibility of selling various promotional products, like t-shirts with the various local high school names and logos.  We can currently sell these items to the various High School Clubs, which in turn sell them internally to raise funds for their respective clubs.
We would now like to begin to offer some of these items directly to various retailers.  These items would have the High School Name and logo.  If we did this without their permission, would this be considered a licensing infringement.  
Additionally, do the High Schools have the ability to license their name and logo or should this be done at the district level or state level?
Finally, it appears to me that the logos that high schools use, are repeatedly used among other schools, ie. bear, bobcats, redskins, etc.  Is it possible that they can control who uses these logos.,
Thank you.  I look forward to your various responses.
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Senior Member


Posts: 3472
Re: High School Names and logos for Promotional Pr
« Reply #1 on: Oct 26th, 2004, 4:55pm »
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I cannot think of any reason why a state government agency
would (in general) be prevented from having trademark rights
in their logos.  (I mean reasons in principle).  They may lack the
resources to protect their marks.
Yes it is true that there are zillions of schools with Tigers
as their mascot, but is a tiger just a tiger.  The renditions are
often stylized in some way, and when paired up with a school name,
and limited to a certain jurisdiction (say the state) probably
a lot of them are sufficiently unique.
Certainly colleges including state schools are very zealous
about protecting their logos and names.
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Angel Ortiz
Re: High School Names and logos for Promotional Pr
« Reply #2 on: Oct 28th, 2004, 10:35am »
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My questions is the following:
If want to reproduce T-shirts with the local high school's name and logo, can I do this without their permission?
In order to protect their name, would they need to register the name within the state, would this be sufficient?
Or would they need to register their trademark, which would consist of the logo and the name of the high school.  
I saw that Walmart was producing t-shirts with one of the local high school names.  This High School is across the street.  How would they be able to do this?
I look forward to your responses.  Thank you.
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Senior Member


Posts: 2584
Re: High School Names and logos for Promotional Pr
« Reply #3 on: Oct 28th, 2004, 4:49pm »
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As to how WalMart gets away with that, I suspect the answer is as boring and non-legal as the high school administrators just don't care and have enough other things to worry about.  
Trademarks don't require any registration.  There are benefits to registering your trademark, but it's not a prerequisite for the existence of a trademark.  Trademarks come into being just by using them as such.
Of course, not all trademarks are rigorously enforced.  Will the high school in question enforce their rights?  Who knows?  It probably wouldn't hurt to ask them.  I'm guessing they wouldn't mind as long as the quality is nice and it's generally positive toward the school.  But that's just a guess.
If your shirts are critical of the school, you have some significant First Amendment rights to make the shirts.  There still may be some trademark issues in the balance, but the school probably can't use their trademarks to avoid public criticism.
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James D. Ivey
Law Offices of James D. Ivey
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