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Oct 31, 2013 09:31 AM EDT

Lipscomb University Decides To Change Logo under Pressure from Liberty University

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Lipscomb University (LU) has succumbed to the pressure of Liberty University (LU) to change their logo.

If you look closely at both school logos they are quite similar, only the positioning of the letters, L and U, is different. Since the logo promoting their respective athletic departments might clash with each other and get people confused, several months ago, Liberty officials asked Lipscomb to stop using 'LU' for marketing and commercial purposes.

"Their interlocking LU looked a lot like ours," David Corry, Liberty University's general counsel, told News Advance.

Liberty, a Christian school in Virginia, began the process of trade marking red-white-and-blue LU logo in 2009 and was approved in 2011. Lipscomb began using the inter-locked purple-and-gold LU logo in December of 2011.

"I'm not sure anybody thought they needed to research [the letters] L and U," Lipscomb Vice President of marketing and communication Deby Samuels told WKRN. "I guess it surprised me a little bit. It surprised me that L [and] U can be something that can be trademarked, but apparently it was."

David Corry, Liberty's general counsel, said that they wouldn't object if Lipscomb used the letters in some other way. However, they decided to drop it altogether.

"Our athletics department introduced the mark a short time ago," Samuels told Tennessean. "While it was one that we felt we had the right to use, when contacted by another school about the mark we chose to simply return to using the word Lipscomb."

(Photo : Lipscomb University)
Lipscomb University

Samuel said that during negotiations, there were only two options, take the help of federal court litigation or simply suspend its use.

"The cost and distraction to take the issue to court would be substantial with no guaranteed outcome. We agreed to not use LU; we are going to take it down. We haven't used it that long. It is used primarily for athletics. That will disappear; they've been gracious to give us some time to do that," Samuel said.

Samuels said that Lipscomb University's name and institution is bigger than a logo.

"For 122 years, Lipscomb's brand has been Lipscomb. Lipscomb University is bigger than a logo and is a name and an institution that is unique," Samuels told News Advance.

Now that Lipscomb officials have agreed to change the symbol of their purple-and-gold LU logo, merchandise, printed material, branded jerseys, shirts, apparels, gear, sweatshirts, cups, stationary and coffee mugs will be sold until the stock runs out. 'LU' signs around Lipscomb's across the campus will also be slowly phased out.

Officials from both universities said that the matter was handled amicably.

"It was very cordial and there were certainly no animus or ill feelings," Corry said.

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