We're the Syracuse Orange. We like to wear a lot of orange. I've written the word "orange" roughly 10,945 times over the last five years.
So it's probably no big surprise that Syracuse University is trying to file a federal trademark on the word "orange." And it's really not a big surprise that the many other colleges that use the color orange were like, "Whoa, bro, WTF?"
When you stop and think about, there's actually a lot of schools that use orange prominently besides us. Auburn, Oregon State, Tennessee, Clemson and Boise State, to name a few. So you can imagine that, if Syracuse were to trademark the world orange, that would make quite a few t-shirts slightly infringe-y.
Especially something called Powered By Orange that's a part of Oregon State.
Fear not, orange-clad universities. Syracuse doesn't want to screw you over on your student section's t-shirt. SU just wants to make sure none of its own fans can make any money supporting the team:
"They want to make sure we’re not going to try and stop them from promoting their teams," McGuire said. "We’ve given them the assurances that no, we absolutely have no intention to do anything like that." (Syracuse does, however, intend to enforce its rights against "Joe Blow T-shirts," he added.)
Cooler heads seem to have prevailed across the nation and Syracuse seems to be playing nice with everyone. It comes down to territoriality. As long as you're promoting your orange stuff all the way over there, we're cool, brah.
McGuire said that negotiations are coming along and that Syracuse expects to have agreements worked out within the next month or two. The resolution, which has been drafted around a past (but too institution-specific) version Tennessee wrote during a separate, previous dispute, will indicate that these universities can work around Syracuse’s trademark so long as they make clear that their products are related to their own institutions – not to Syracuse.
I know I go to the store all the time, see an orange t-shirt, purchase it, go home and THEN realize it was a Clemson shirt. So this will clear things right up.
The article makes sure to note the irony that Syracuse is the aggressor in this space despite only being called the Orange since 2004. SU, as usual, is simple the only university smart enough to think of doing this. Then again, when you're up against schools like Tennessee and Auburn, it's not that hard to out-smart them. #BigEastKnowledge
H/T: John H.