The Supreme Court turned down an appeal Monday by the University of South Carolina to register an interlocking “SC” logo as its trademark.
The University of South Carolina contested a ruling made in January, which said the university could not use the “SC” logo for sports and apparel merchandise. The Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal.
Federal trademark law does not allow registrations that are likely to cause confusion. The University of South Carolina argued that its logo was distinct enough to be registered.
According to the University of South Carolina, its logo would use curved letters, instead of the blocked “SC” that the University of Southern California uses.
The University of South Carolina first attempted to trademark an “SC” logo in 1997, but the University of Southern California contested it.
A special Trademark Trial and Appeal Board was formed and concluded that, though “real fans” would know the difference between the two logos, it would be confusing to casual fans.
The Supreme Court decision yesterday to throw out the case means that the University of South Carolina cannot try the case again.
Lawyers for the University of Southern California argued that “SC” had been used as a University of Southern California logo for decades, while the University of South Carolina had used “Carolina” or “USC” instead.