Or when Louisvillw gives a bird teeth.
Or when Louisvillw gives a bird teeth.
But this is perfectly acceptable.
This falls into the only category of mascot that is acceptable: the kind that basically mocks the entire concept of mascots. Stanford's tree does likewise.
Throwing a face on a fruit, a tree, or a poisonous nut is a level of silly that I can't buy into.
No, that's just total win.
...the Orangeman is also stretching. Ever so slightly to the left.
Getting blue balls.
.....that any job - even the Syracuse mascot - has an advantage. In their case, unprecedented access to.....that.
This is our secondary mascot.
It's just an orange, man, lay off them. Google 315er and you will feel bad for them, really bad.
See how much nicer he looks without the eyebrow?
Double post fail.
USM's logo looks NOTHING like Fred Flintstone...
Does the article even say anything about suing? All I saw was that their trademark application was rejected, unless I missed something.
Oh, and I would think that the colors plus the profile of a raptor is enough to count them as too similar for the trademark.
"In 2004, Iowa officials argued that the two images were confusingly similar.
Last week, Iowa got two out of three judges to concur."
A lawsuit, technically no; but in patent world (and in layman's terms), pretty much.
I guess in my mind the trademark application is like asking permission and Iowa just said no, whereas a lawsuit would imply that they didn't ask permission and Iowa was calling them out on it.
Iowa should have to change their logo...
Iowa.... maybe you spend spend money on things that are a little more imprtant.... such as figuring ways to not to over work your student athletes.
Seriously.... If this holds up in court, there will be a waterfall of copyright encroachment claims....
Then again, if you squint your eyes and stand 50 feet from the monitor, I guess they look similar. :/
Maybe its just me, but this is crazy. This is crazy right? I don't see it, other than they're both birds, and a golden shade of yellow.
As I said above, they are basically the same colors and they are both profiles of raptors with a very similar design. I mean, if you saw USM's design without knowing it belonged to them, you'd think that Iowa had updated their logo. That's what the trademark system is meant to prevent.
I would not confuse this with the Iowa logo.
If the school colors were different, you wouldn't give it a second glance.
But the school colors aren't different and that's part of the issue. Did you know that "Tony the Tiger Orange" is a trademarked color? If try to trademark a tiger that looks very little like Tony, but use that color, you will get rejected. It's the same basic principle. Just because you can tell the difference between them doesn't mean there isn't a strong resemblence between them.
You're right about the colors being the same. I think the courts should also force S. Miss to change their colors. Nobody is using pink and gold, that combo is free.
Maybe some PETA lawyers should sue Iowa on behalf of all eagles.
and I have been doing trademark work for more than 20 years.
No, you're totally right, those two logos are REALLY different and not at all confusing. I can't believe this was an issue, nobody would mix those up.
I could maybe, possibly, probably not though having a case if they were in the same market (I know its not relevant in a lawsuit) but the hawkeye is 2d and has little detail, whereas the southern miss is way more detailed and doesn't look like a kid used a elementary stencil and traced it.
The Iowa Hawkeye looks more like an angry parrot.
another side-by-side view of the logos that I found in a different article on this story.
I guess I can see how one could think that the left logo is just an updated version of the Hawkeye logo.
EDIT: Geez, the more I look at this the more the Iowa logo looks terrible. I mean, if you take the stencils and put them together, it looks like some guys junk got torn to shreds. Shredded junk is no way to run an institution of higher learning.
I think the Iowa logo is supposed to contain a lowercase "i". At least, that's how I've always viewed it.
...their second logo design was rejected as being too close to Minnesota State's design:
Hayden Fox, Dauber Dybinski, and Luther Van Damm were all unavailable for comment
I hear Fox is in negotiation to head to the pro ranks.
This is the best comment I've read on here in months.
If we have a case against anybody, it'd have to be Missouri. We must have reached some sort of agreement with them over use of the block M, I imagine.
I believe that is the case. I seem to remember reading something about that years ago.
Summer's Eve sues Sparty nation next.
These kinds of cases/disputes may sound silly, but there are millions of dollars arguably at issue in them. All of these designs are trademarked and the trademarks are extremely valuable. Valuable trademarks are protected and strictly enforced. For example, Apple most definitely prosecutes companys that use the logo on knock-off computers. There really is no difference in the legalities/arguments in a case like that (an obvious one) and in the Iowa case. The difference is that some people do not think the Hawkeye trademark is as valuable as Iowa believes it to be.
...aren't eagles and hawks kind of supposed to look similar?
I am looking forward to when Southern Miss replaces their logo with an image of golden eagle devouring an ear of corn.
Careful Iowa, or the Steelers might be knocking on your door next!
Wait, Iowa has had football since 1889. The steelers have been around since 1933. So the real question is who came up with the color scheme first. -I am too lazy to figure that one out.
I can assure you, Iowa copied off of Pittsburgh. It was with Pittsburgh's consent though, IIRC.
The following schools should be contacting their lawyers right about now...
This Iowa thing is dumb. I spent about 5 minutes scanning over university logos and I think all of these are closer matches than Iowa and USM.
throw Gonzaga in with the bulldog examples.
It's all pretty dumb. Growing up near Syracuse, it still pisses me off that Syracause had to go to the stupid block S with full name
because sparty thought an orange and blue S was too similar to a green and white S.
Living outside of the Midwest, I see a lot of Missouri hats that look very similar to Michigan block M
It was part of a phasing back in of the block 'S'. The word on top has now been dropped.
PSU also uses a block S, though not as a primary logo.
Damn, those all look way more similar than the Iowa-Southern Miss logos. Thanks for compiling.
Add Ferris State and Minnesota Duluth and Yale in with the bulldog logos. They're not that close, but way closer than Iowa and Southern Miss.
I would embed pictures but I'm on my phone.
meh. these are all pretty distinctly different, but then again so are iowa and usm.
I know the cowboy logo on the left is Wyoming, but what school is that next to it?
Although it was a manufacturer that truly designed the wing shape to add more padding stylishly in vital spots, Michigan State was the first known school to use a version of the wing in 1933. They typically had just one stripe and a huge fat eyebrow looking wing. Just like today, Michigan State constantly changed their helmet from season to season and even game to game (like Oregon). Some of these seasons they only wore a "winged" helmet in a single game and their wing changed shapes constantly. That was back when their uniforms were black and gold, not the only colors; green and white.
FWIW, the last time MSU wore a winged helmet was the 1st game of the 1947 season. A pretty good Biggie Munn team went into Ann Arbor and lost 55-0. MSU finished the year 7-2 (their other loss was by 1 point to 8-3 Kentucky) and Michigan finished the year 10-0 with a BigTen and National Championship.
Michigan has used the winged helmet for 74 straight seasons - contrast that with Princeton that has used a winged helmet for a total of 17 seasons.
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board reviews many factors in determining whether there is a likelihood of confusion. A comparison of the respective marks is a large factor, but it is not the only factor.
Particularly, the Board doesn't just nitpick each little element, but takes the overall impression/appearance in mind.
The near famous level of Iowa's marks along with the identical products and trade channels, along with evidence of actual confusion leads lead the TTAB to err on the side of the prior registrant rather than potential harm the goodwill that Iowa has spent years and $$$ to establish.
I would bet the actual, real, verifiable confusion in the marketplace between the two marks is so minor and so inconsequential as to be functionally invisible. The fact is that it is quite rare that either of these marks are going to be seen isolation, without accompanying words denoting either "Iowa Hawkeyes" or "Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles" or something similar.
Sure, if you put both logos in front of 83-year old grandmothers with bad eyesight they might get them confused, but then those same grandmothers confuse their own grandchildren and they're not going to be purchasing sportswear anyhow. The business market that is relevant here will have no trouble at all distinguishing between the two marks and branding systems.
Your legal background as a graphics designer notwithstanding, I'll go with the TTAB's analysis:
In short,although some purchasers of the parties’ goods will be knowledgeable fans who are likely to notice if a logo is different from the team logo to which they are accustomed, there are others who may not be so perceptive about subtle differences between the logos of sports teams. These less knowledgeable purchasers are likely to exercise a lesser degree of care in purchasing the goods given the inexpensive nature of many of the products sold under the marks. In selecting the applicable standard of care, we are constrained to make our determination based upon the least sophisticated consumers. Alfacell Corp. v. Anticancer, Inc., 71 USPQ2d 1301, 1306 (TTAB 2004).
So yes, the 83 y/o grandma is exactly the person they are thinking of when coming to this decision.
Obviously my professional opinion doesn't mean squat here since I'm not an attorney or a TTAB judge, but (assuming you've copied the text from their findings) their logic is simply faulty as hell.
"These less knowledgeable purchasers are likely to exercise a lesser degree of care in purchasing the goods given the inexpensive nature of many of the products sold under the marks."
1. The "products" in question are in most cases going to have the university and/or team wording plainly acccompanying the logo. What Iowa fan is going to purchase a sweatshirt with the words "Southern Mississippi" emblazoned on it just because the logo is roughly ovoid in shape and black and gold in color? Or what Southern MIss fan is going to buy a ball cap with "Hawkeyes" on it? Are the judges presuming illiteracy as being a legitimate consideration?
2. How are the "products" in question sold, and where? Either they are purchased in person in sporting goods stores or Walmarts or Targets in their local communities, or they're purchased online. I find it hard to believe that any sporting goods stores or Walmarts in Iowa City are going to be carrying Southern MIss apparel, nor will Iowa garb be available in Hattiesburg stores. For that matter, given the very regional appeal of Southern Miss, I would be very surprised if you could find any Golden Eagles stuff in brick and mortar stores outside of Mississippi or the immediate adjacent states. And those stores are highly, highly unlikely to be carrying any Iowa apparel.
If we're considering online purchases, nobody is going to google "football jerseys emblazoned with roughly oval yellow and black logos depicting graphically simplified avian predators" when they want to buy a jersey or a hat. They're going to google "Iowa Hawkeye jersey" or "Southern Miss cap" and the websites that they link to will automatically present the relevant pages with that team's apparel. The online user is not presented with a message saying "the team you have chosen has a logo roughly similar to another team, so we will show you both sets of apparel just to confuse you."
The only situation that would remotely justify this insane ruling would be if another sports team in Iowa or adjacent state adopted the Southern MIss logo, but with the words "Iowa Eagles" or similar. Then the real-life possibilities for confusion in the real-life marketplace might obtain. As it is, the judges are simply not thinking through just exactly what are the situations in real life that would create the marketplace confusion they allege to exist.
Maybe they're worried about the marketplace in Beijing or Shanghai, where the customers are so unfamiliar with American culture, the English language, and business branding that they literally can't tell the difference.
What happens when someone in AZ who's not a fan plans on attending a game with a friend? He goes to a generic sports apparrel store to find something to wear to the game. He finds something with the USM logo on it and no text, but he's not familiar enough with the program to know if this is an official alternate logo, a knock off logo that will pass, or some other school's logo. He purchases the shirt and USM has now profited from the likeness of the logos while Iowa has lost profit.
What happens when an 83yo woman buys a hat for her great grand child, but couldn't tell the difference between the two and she didn't see the name on the back of the hat, so she buys the cheaper one?
You assume that the names will always be paired with the logo, which is a fallacy. You also make the assumption that everyone is going to know exactly what they are looking for, which is also a bad assumption to make. If all you know is that you are looking for a yellow hawk's head outlined in black, both match that description.
I can say without any hesitation that these judges are either blind, mentally impaired, or have just made large deposits in their bank accounts courtesy of an anonymous donor in Iowa City.
The differences between the two logos are so numerous, and so fundamental, that a finding of infringement puts 50% of American corporate and business branding at risk.
I'm also a graphic designer. If it weren't for the colors there would be little to no resemblance between the two. This whole thing is bogus.
The University of Wisconsin actually sued Washburn University in '07 and won! The small University had to change it's blue swooshing W to a block W. They were actually seeking punitive damages trying to hit up the little school for bucks made on athletic sportswear with the swoosh "W". This is when I lost all respect for UW! http://www.ksallink.com/?cmd=displaystory&story_id=2206&format=print
The lawsuit accuses Washburn of "willfully, intentionally and maliciously" using the Motion W logo to deceive consumers and cause confusion.
Similar? I suppose.
Maliciously so? Facepalm.
Oh..... you lawyers and your choice of adverbs.