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Wichita public school logo fight legal costs

Yesterday’s Wichita Eagle reported in a story that USD 259, the Wichita public school district, “… worked for about five years to get its mark registered over the objection of Washington apple growers …”

The article is referring to a logo that Wichitans for Effective Education has been using on some of its printed materials.

I wondered why a public school district would spend any time or money to register its trademark, much less engage in a protracted legal effort. That can’t be cheap.

Someone mentioned to me that colleges do this so that they can license the use of their logos for use on shirts and other items. I haven’t been able to find evidence that the Wichita schools have done this, or that they plan to. The search interface on USD 259’s website is not functioning, so maybe that’s why I can’t find it.

The costs incurred in the fight for this trademark, however, is an important question. The answer will help us learn more about the goals and motivations in effect at USD 259. So I’ve filed a records request asking USD 259 for this information:

Copies of all invoices and bills received and/or paid by USD 259 for legal services, plus records of internal time and resources used, related to the district’s efforts to trademark its apple logo, including records related to the district’s approximately five-year effort to get its mark registered over the objection of Washington apple growers.

By Bob Weeks

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