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Nov 04, 2016 06:29 AM EDT

Why Is It Necessary To Protect Michigan State University's Trademarks?


Would you want to have the Michigan mascot as your cake topping? You can do that for as long as you are given the permission to do so. Sparty's image is important. It carries the reputation of the school.

Branding plays a vital part in any establishments. Marketing collaterals must follow the university or in business, corporate guidelines to prevent misrepresentation.

In the case of Michigan State University, the Spartan helmet must be the silhouette. The signature must be in block S. "Go Green" and "Go White" are included in the 30 trademarks licensed with the federal and state authority.

The move is necessary after a brewing outlet associates its business with MSU by using "Sparty On" on their poster. The university has to file a case after the owner continuously ignored their warning letter.

It was also not acceptable for MSU to see Sparty endorsing a Xyience Energy Drink as posted on Twitter. Spartan's helmet was also inscribed in a shield by a baseball group for teenagers.

So far, Michigan State University has sent at least10 cease and desist letters to violators from March to September. This is their way of protecting their trademark. Around 1300 takedown requests for infringed materials on their trademarks via Facebook were also released.

Dan Kelly received one of those after displaying an image of the Spartan helmet then he wore a shirt with the logo for his MSU Board of Trustees campaign via social media. He has taken them down ever since.

Samantha Stevens, MSU's office director explains that the university endangers their protected status if they don't do anything with regards to the protection of MSU's  trademarks. Many thought that these efforts from Michigan State University are against freedom of expression -  but the university has all the rights to do just that!

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