October 18, 2019
Rutgers University (“Rutgers”) has demanded that a Louisiana high school stop using its school logo, claiming it is too similar to the red block “R” logo that Rutgers has trademarked.
Representatives from Rutgers sent a cease-and-desist letter to Ruston High School (“Ruston”) in early 2019 in respect of Ruston’s use of an “R” logo on its uniforms, school facilities, and social media that was similar to Rutgers’ trademarked “R” logo.
Rutgers has said the university “addresses trademark infringement issues to avoid confusion among brands and to ensure its logos are used for their intended purpose.” The move by Rutgers to enforce its trademark attracted some criticism, with some commentators expressing surprise that Rutgers could trademark a logo that contained only the letter “R”.
After six months of negotiations, Ruston has agreed to stop using its logo. In return, Rutgers will allow Ruston ten years to fully implement the change before taking any legal action. This should give Ruston time to remove its current logo from school facilities, equipment, and apparel in accordance with its regular replacement schedule and without incurring additional expenses.
Authors: Amanda Bertucci and Megan Brooks