In 2010, Florida State University told Southeast High School in Bradenton, Florida that they could no longer use the “Seminoles” nickname and logos that the schools have both been using for over fifty years. Unlike many trademark disputes between collegiate institutions and high schools though, Southeast High School refused to “cease and desist” claiming that they were not infringing on Florida State’s trademarks. Eventually, the case settled before litigation, but the University’s assertion of trademark rights against a high school in the same state highlights a growing trend of aggressive trademark protection by collegiate institutions. This Note discusses the development of trademark law with relation to universities, examines the rise of the collegiate merchandising right, and analyzes trademark disputes between high schools and colleges and how a court would likely rule on such a dispute.
Randall L. Newsom, Cease and Desist: Finding an Equitable Solution in Trademark Disputes Between High Schools and Colleges, 52 B.C.L. Rev. 1833 (2011), http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr/vol52/iss5/6