Court Sides With Trojans in “USC” Logo Dispute

South Carolina loses a not-so-gentlemanly confrontation

After further review, the U.S. Patent and Trademark review board's decision stands.

A federal appeals court rejected South Carolina's petition to use the letters "USC" on the Fighting Gamecocks baseball team's uniforms. The decision upholds the Patent and Trademark Office board's ruling regarding the University of Southern California's claim to the logo.

Scott Edelman, an attorney representing USC, -- the LA USC -- said the ruling protects the school's "primary athletic mark." He said the logo, used on team clothing and equipment, brings in significant revenue.

Nobody would confuse a Trojan for a Gamecock, but he said people might mistake South Carolina merchandise for Trojan merchandise if the garnet-and-black of South Carolina and the cardinal-and-gold of Southern California both carried the same "USC" logo.

"I think they wanted to move away from the gamecock logo," Edelman said of South Carolina. "Something that is totally understandable."

He described the proud, noble and feisty Gamecock as "a goofy little chicken."

Neil C. Jones, an attorney representing the University of South Carolina, said "Southern manners" would not allow him to respond to Edelman's comments.

Jones said school officials have not decided whether to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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