How the west was won U of South Carolina vs. U of Southern California

13 years in the making  trademark battle ends as the high court lets stand a ruling that the ‘SC’ logo trademark belongs to the University of Southern California, not the University of South Carolina.

The USC Trojan Logo won out over U South Carolina
The USC Trojan Logo won out over U South Carolina

The University of Southern California defeated the University of South Carolina with a Supreme Court ruling on Monday.  Supreme Court Justices let stand a trademark ruling holding that the interlocking letters “SC” are the registered mark of the sports teams of the Los Angeles school.

The high court turned down an appeal from USC in Columbia, S.C., which since 1997 has sought to register its own “SC” logo for the sale of sports merchandise.

USC in Los Angeles objected, and a special Trademark Trial and Appeal Board considered the evidence. It concluded that although “real fans” would not be fooled, casual fans might be confused as to whether the sportswear came from the West Coast or the East Coast school.

Federal trademark law forbids the use of identifying marks that have a “likelyhood of confusion” among consumers.

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