[UPDATE] 2 Georgia Schools to Change Logos as Part of Deal

By: Associated Press; Jill Chandler
By: Associated Press; Jill Chandler


Five high schools using the FSU Seminole Logo will soon have to stop. These high schools, one in Florida, three in Georgia, and one in Ohio all received letters from FSU requesting that they phase out the use of the Seminole head and Spear.

These letters and correspondence has caused quite the debate, some calling FSU "a bully."

We sat down with the head of licensing at FSU, who says they are giving the high schools time to make the changes.

Head of Trademark and Licensing Sherri Dye said they are not asking the high schools to change it now. FSU is giving the schools time to change, over a period of years. The individual schools will choose when to change. She said, "The natural lifetime of a product that needs to be replaced, that's the time we would ask them to replace it. If they have a football uniform and it's time to replace all of the uniforms that is when they would make the change."

Legally, FSU has to protect its trademark logo. Talks of FSU suing the high schools over use of the Seminole head have flooded blogs, but Dye says there has been no discussion of litigation. Four out of the five schools have submitted their phase out plans, already.

The five high schools:
1. Creekside, GA
2. Westside, GA
3. Salem, GA
4. Souteast, FL
5. Monroe Central, OH


Atlanta, GA (AP) - Two Georgia high schools will remove logos that
depict a design similar to the Seminole used by Florida State
University under terms of a settlement with the university.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Salem High School
and Memorial Middle School must stop using the Seminole head and
spear design. The Rockdale County schools must remove the logo from
football helmets, among other items.

The Rockdale County Board of Education voted Thursday to accept
the settlement, which allows the schools to keep the Seminole name
as long as it is preceded by Salem High or Memorial Middle.

School board member Darlene Hotchkiss said the eventual cost of
making the required changes could add up to more than $200,000
because it might involve changes to such things as gym floors and

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Jesse Location: Atlanta on Mar 24, 2011 at 10:37 AM
    To add to my last comment. High schools are already registering their marks: http://ce-ip.com/licensing-highschool.html If these schools register the Seminole head, which FSU already owns, it is a ball of legal confusion. I know FSU is the "big guy" here, but it doesn't make them wrong. They own these marks. Period. You wouldn't see Nike rolling over if a high school named themselves Nike High School and ripped off their swoosh. Trademarking is there so that you come up with something unique and you have control over the use of said mark. The high schools should come up with a unique design, register it themselves, and actually gain some royalty profit. As long as FSU is working with them on a phase out program, I think it will benefit the high schools to have a uniquely registered trademark.
  • by Jesse Location: Atlanta on Mar 24, 2011 at 10:23 AM
    It is not just about money at FSU. A part of Florida State being able to keep the Seminole symbol was a agreement with the tribe to control the FSU trademarked logos that are in the market place. They cannot police the high schools so a phase out program is wise. At the end of the day other universities are doing this too. It IS trademarked logos afterall, meaning the are registered for the discretion and use of Florida State University, not these high schools- it is not about the colors or even the name of the mascot. Just the exact logos. I work in sports business. There have been talks to high schools registering their marks too, to collect their own royalties, which would cause a lot of trouble if they were registering an already registered mark. That is why the phase out program is in place. Most people do not know the background of a news story these days.
  • by chill on Mar 23, 2011 at 10:49 AM
    this happens all the time but doesn't make tallahassee news. Notre Dame has done the same and Michigan has done it with schools in south florida. They usually just make them tweak the logo. It's common to just reverse the logo. Somehow i think people want to get worked up..... save your energy for more important issues.
  • by Nole Fan - NOT!!! on Mar 23, 2011 at 05:51 AM
    FSU is a joke and things like this make it look even more foolish.
  • by Cecil Location: Tallahassee on Mar 22, 2011 at 08:05 PM
    These schools do not have the money to fight this and they are clearly on the right side of this. No matter who they have to handle the business, FSU can still make the call and all involved should be ashamed of themselves.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 22, 2011 at 11:08 AM
    Theft costs intellectual property owners millions of dollars in damage annually.
    • reply
      by CDS on Mar 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM in reply to
      And that has what to do with this article?!?!?! Nothing, FSU has and will not loose any money for these school to have that name or logo.
    • reply
      by Student on Mar 22, 2011 at 02:30 PM in reply to
      Their intellectual property, what a joke!! There are thousands upon thousand of those images free online and in books that are availiable to use commercialy and they are royalty free. So how is that logo their property when its clearly different. Go and try to preach to someone else. All this is about is GREED plain and simple.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2011 at 09:26 AM in reply to
      I agree with you about theft of intellectual property, but as the FSU and these schools are not actually in any way in competition with each other, how is this theft? If another university was using the logo, I could see it. But these are high schools and middle schools, sales of items with this logo on them will not effect sales of FSU items. For that reason, I cannot buy your argument.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM
    FSU could tell them not to go after these schools. Seeing as how they a PARTNERS in the agreement. They had to consent to this ridiculas lawsuit for there name to be on it.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 22, 2011 at 10:45 AM
    OMG I guess next they will do the same with my son's high school because there school colors are Garent and Gold. Give me a break. The two logo in this article do not look the same to me. So where doesn't the Trade-Mark law come into play here? It doesn't it is just about FSU wanting control. Did these schools recently change there mascot, or Logo? Probably not....
  • by Anonymous on Mar 22, 2011 at 09:42 AM
    Awesome idea!!!!!!!
  • by John3 Location: quincy on Mar 22, 2011 at 07:02 AM
    FSU still made a choice to go with Affinity Marketing and being a long time Noles fan this smells of GREED. FSU has come a long way, but they apparently did not learn 'Live & Let Live'. I bet this offends some recruits from that area and it should. We all have choices & FSU has made a bad one :(
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