Sunday, February 21, 2016

'Identity politics run amok'

Comment: If you think that the Redskins debacle is crazy, check out what’s happened at the University of North Dakota:

• The university’s 2007 settlement agreement with the NCAA requires the school to protect trademarks of the controversial logo. This is so the school can keep exclusive rights to license it. The NCAA required that so UND would have control over the logo, thereby blocking others from using it willy-nilly and allowing it to proliferate freely in a hockey jersey shop near you.

• To maintain the trademark, however, UND must produce and sell merchandise bearing the logo. Sort of a use-it-or-lose-it angle to trademark law. Failure to do so could cause the school to lose the trademark, allowing others to swoop in and cause the unfettered proliferation of Fighting Sioux hockey jerseys.

• So although UND is now known by its new Fighting Hawks nickname, the school must continue to produce and sell Fighting Sioux merchandise to satisfy the NCAA’s demand that it get rid of the nickname and logo.