Colleges, including the University of Florida, are beginning to crack down on high schools using trademarked team logos and lettering, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
Rick Karcher, a professor of law and the director of the Center for Law and Sports at the Florida Coastal School of Law, said when it comes to trademark law, consumer confusion can be a crucial test. But he added it’s also important to show precedent in defending a logo.
“The more the logo, combined with the colors, is dissimilar, the harder it is for the college to argue that the consumer is confused by the source or affiliation of the mark,” Karcher said. “If there’s no consumer confusion, then there typically isn’t trademark infringement. But I think colleges are getting more protective of their intellectual property and the problem becomes if [they] allow this, someone else will come along and ask why it’s allowed in one context and not another.”