Ouch: USC wins Trademark case . . . against USC

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The LA Times reports:

Trojans have priority of use for ‘SC’ logo, says the administrative tribunal of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

August 8, 2008

The University of Southern California and the University of South Carolina share the same initials. But they won’t be sharing a trademark logo.

Not now that the administrative tribunal of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has ruled that the local USC has priority of use when it comes to the “SC” logo, including the interlocking version.

The battle between the USCs has been quietly raging since 2002, when USC challenged South Carolina’s application to federally register a version of the “SC” trademark for use on clothing and baseball uniforms. South Carolina fired back with a counterclaim to cancel USC’s federal trademark registration for its interlocking “SC” logo.

Game on. Proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board began in 2006. On Friday, the board issued a 93-page order in favor of L.A.’s USC.

So, Dr. Arthur C. Bartner, are you ready to cue that Trojan Marching Band?

“It doesn’t really command the same amount of attention as winning a national championship,” said Liz Kennedy, director of USC’s trademarks and licensing program. “It was much more tedious.”

No word on whether the Bowl Championship Series computers could change the result.

The USPTO’s page on the dispute, with links to the relevant documents, is here. My USC got schooled, no question.

–Ann Bartow

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