Which is the real USC?
In a case that has sparked a coast-to-coast war of words, the University of Southern California just won a trademark battle with the University of South Carolina.
At issue was whether South Carolina could put an interlocking "SC" logo on its baseball team's hats and uniforms. A federal appeals court said no.
The court upheld a trademark board's decision that the logos would likely confuse consumers, particularly gift buyers and "new or casual fans," according to Courthouse News Service.
An attorney for Southern Cal, Scott Edelman, said the ruling protected the school's "primary athletic mark" and added there was potential for South Carolina merchandise to be mistaken for that of Southern Cal, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Then Edelman added a dig, saying the logo fit the Trojans' warrior image more than "a goofy little chicken," the newspaper said.
Neil White, who writes for The State in Columbia, S.C., couldn't let that pass.
"Come on, dude, that's the best you got? If you want to go with sophomoric arguments, I'll respond with two little words: Lane Kiffin.
And let me throw out a couple of other numbers before I rest my case.
USC was founded in 1801. Southern Cal was founded in 1880.
The last football meeting? USC 38, Southern Cal 14 in 1983."
White asserted that confusion over the Gamecocks' and Trojans' logos is a non-issue.
"There is no confusing the caps when you put them side by side -- from the different colors to the style of the "SC" logo -- unless, of course, you're a clueless Southern California lawyer," he wrote.
The court dismissed South Carolina's counterclaim that Southern Cal's logo falsely suggests an affiliation with the state of South Carolina.
"To avoid summary judgment, South Carolina must have shown that there was a genuine issue for trial on whether the initials ‘SC' ‘point uniquely' to the state," U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled for the three-judge panel, according to Courthouse News Service.
"We agree that ‘SC' may refer to the State of South Carolina. But as the evidence offered by Southern California demonstrates, ‘SC' refers to many entities aside from the state."
South Carolina has not decided whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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