UConn barking mad in infringement case
The Morgan School in Clinton, Conn. issued cease-and-desist letters from UConn lawyers
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 00:10
UConn officials were barking mad when they found a high school in Clinton, Conn. had copied the logo for Jonathan, the beloved Husky mascot.
The Morgan School had been issued with cease-and-desist letters from UConn’s lawyers, and was initially asked to remove the Clinton Husky logo from wherever it may currently appear and to create a new logo which was distinctly different from UConn’s Husky. After negotiations, the university allowed The Morgan School’s mascot since 1953 to stay, but the design still had to be changed.
The famous Husky mascot has been a symbol of UConn since 1934, and has also been federally trademarked for the past two decades.
“We’re not looking for changes overnight, and there’s going to be no legal proceedings,” said UConn Associate Athletic Director of Communications, Michael Enright. “We’re looking for them to eliminate it from uniforms and so forth … and basically come up with a new logo that doesn’t serve as copyright infringement.”
Enright said the schools are working together so that Morgan doesn’t have to spend a lot of money to eliminate the logo everywhere immediately, and that the goal was to phase out the logo as regular maintenance is done.
Superintendant of Clinton Public Schools Jack Cross said The Morgan School had already made progress, having removed the logo from the school website, fliers, brochures and the few athletic uniforms on which the Husky was printed on.
However, The Morgan School’s largest problem is the large Husky symbol in the middle of their new turf field at the Indian Rivers Recreation complex. Cross believes it will cost about $20,000 to remove it, and the field will not require major maintenance for the next eight to 12 years.
“That would be a costly endeavor to replace right now because of the way the field is done. We’re having that conversation with the idea that perhaps we could come up with a memorandum of understanding,” said Cross.
1st-semester biology major Rob Turnbull says that the university’s wishes are tough, but fair.
“It’s not about bullying, it’s about upholding federal trademark laws. Just because UConn is bigger and financially better off than The Morgan School, it doesn’t mean they aren’t entitled to defend their trademark. Although they’re a smaller school, it shouldn’t make a difference,” said Turnbull.
Many students at The Morgan School have started work in developing a new Husky logo that will distinguish itself from UConn’s Jonathan.