Gamecocks Lose To Trojans in Court of Law (Again)

The case is of University of South Carolina v. University of Southern California [09-1270] is settled now after 13 years of arguing over the rights to ‘SC’.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the University of South Carolina, which since 1997 has sought to register its own “SC” logo for the sale of sports merchandise. 

The University of South Carolina began using the “SC” logo on its baseball caps in 1997 and had sought to trademark the rights of the “interlocking” SC logo that is also used by the University of Southern California.

The west coast USC had previously beaten South Carolina in January 2010 when a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a decision of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that the logo was the century-old property of the University of Southern California.

The federal trademark law forbids the use of identifying marks that are “likely to cause confusion” among consumers.  {Editor Note — How you confuse the two logos is beyond by reasoning.}

Had the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear the Gamecocks’ appeal, that court would have decided who really owns the “SC” logo.  By not hearing the appeal, the decision of the lower appellate court controls the issue, thus settling the dispute.

Case closed right?

So what does this mean, well I am not a lawyer but my understanding is South Carolina can use the logo moving forward if they choose (on baseball merchandise as this is what we are talking about here) but is not protected by federal copyright law….meaning they could potentially face a lawsuit from Southern Cal because they are not protected.

So next step likely is a new logo for use by the defending national champs USC baseball team as the interlocking ‘SC’ is not protected by copyright law….were talking money here people….so Ray Tanner and the University need to get creative as sports marketing is a money pot that I am sure USC does not want to miss out on or pay the west coast USC over infringement issues.

Related News

·         In USC vs. USC, Supreme Court action favors West Coast

·         USC Logo Battle Costs USC over $376,000

·         2008 LOHD piece on this – Gamecocks lose in court over ‘SC’ logo rights

·         USC loses logo dispute / Daily Gamecock report from Jan. 2010

About flounder

Two-time grad of THE University of South Carolina.