Is A&M Consolidated a Copy Cat?

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The battle over team trademarks continues, and now it has hit the high school arena. It seems logo copyright fights keep popping up.

First, it was a trademark battle between Texas A&M and the Seattle Seahawks over the 12th Man.

Then, the University of Texas and and Aggieland Outfitters made headlines over the Saw 'em Off logo.

And now the newest possible trademark case has designs on College Station once again.

"We got a letter from a representative from the University of Missouri, saying that in their opinion our tiger head logo was substantially identical to their tiger head logo," said Michael Ball, CSISD Deputy Superintendant Business and Operations.

The university asked the high school to stop using the logo. In a letter to the high school, saying "... use of the mark that is nearly identical to the Tiger Head mark may cause consumers to erroneously believe that the University has authorized A&M Consolidated High School to use its marks."

On any given day, you see a variety of sports teams, be they little league or high school, sporting familiar professional and collegiate like logos. However, officials said Little League teams fall into a different category.

"Little League has an agreement with the Major League Baseball associations and teams," said Michael Huddleston the Assistant Vice President of Texas A&M, "and they have a license agreement that allows LittleLleague baseball to use their uniforms, the names of the teams and the logo. "

But as for high schools, the use of a familiar team logo is usually dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

"The actual school would go to the college, university or professional association and get permission to use their name, their trademark and so forth," said Huddleston.

Officials are optimistic when it comes to the current situation between the Univeristy of Missouri and A&M Consolidated.

"It could be a very simple process of entering into a limited use agreement with the University of Missouri to satisfy any issues that there may be surrounding consolidated High School using their tiger head," said Huddleston.

Jim Aronowitz, a representative of the University of Missouri, could only comment on what is generally done in similar cases.

"We generally ask them for a complete list of that particular mark, and then we work with them on a reasonable phase-out of that trademark," said Aronowitz, "the hope being that obviously by the end, they no longer use the mark that's protected by the collegeiate institution, but at the same time, it does not have a negative effect on their budget."