In a truly sublime situation, a Dallas high school is being sued by the commercial representative of the University of Arizona for using a logo that was deemed to be too similar to the Arizona's trademark, even though the school's dominant logo is actually a near carbon copy of another university's logo.
As reported by the Dallas Observer and Dallas Morning News, Dallas (Texas) Woodrow Wilson High was the subject of a lawsuit from the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), the collegiate rights holder of a number of schools. CLC has filed suit against a number of other high schools, so a lawsuit against one more isn't particularly surprising. According to the Observer, the two parties negotiated for months, after which CLC agreed to allow Woodrow to phase out all of the remaining wildcat logos in use over the course of two years.
What's odd about this lawsuit is that the logo CLC is complaining about is used very sparingly at the school. You can see the Woodrow wildcat in question -- which does bear strong similarity to Arizona's version -- on the logo for the Woodrow PTA annual fund right here. Outside of that one has to really dig around the Woodrow website to find other examples of it in use. There are a few locations in the school where it is painted or displayed and one intricate tile mosaic, which CLC allowed to remain after all other logos are gone.
At the same time, a cursory glance at Woodrow's website, or at any photos from its athletic events, shows that the school actually uses another college's wildcat logo all the time. In fact, the Woodrow football helmet is an almost exact duplicate of Kansas State's Powercat helmets, just in a different color.
A quick check discovers that Kansas State is not a Collegiate Licensing Company client. The Manhattan, Kansas college also may or may not care that high schools use its Powercat logo. It shouldn't; if anything, high schools using collegiate marks only reinforces that schools presence in a different market.
Of course, that hasn't stopped CLC from suing anyone it can and forcing schools to adopt new logos. That's a shame, as Woodrow Wilson High is now finding out the hard way.
- Dallas Morning News
- Dallas Observer
- Collegiate Licensing Company
- the University of Arizona