Notre Dame has ordered a high school in El Paso, TX to change its logo and nickname because it conflicts with the Indiana university’s trademark.
Cathedral High School received a letter from Notre Dame requesting that the school stop using the university’s leprechaun logo and Fighting Irish nickname in compliance with U.S. trademark laws, according to the El Paso Times.
"Cathedral is one of many schools that, over the years, have adopted the nickname Fighting Irish and/or used the leprechaun logo," said Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown, in a written statement.
"Notre Dame does not actively seek out such schools, but when a school's use of our trademarked symbols comes to our attention, we do notify it and ask administrators there to find alternatives."
"To allow others to use our trademarks as their own could weaken the University's rights to its own marks to the point where its legitimate property interests could be at risk," Brown said. "Notre Dame understands the costs associated with buying new uniforms and other items, and we are happy to allow these items to be used until they need to be replaced due to wear and tear."
Rudy Forti, the high school’s football coach and athletic director says they have begun the transition.
"Personally, I have tried to get (the leprechaun) off all our apparel," he said. "It's a work in progress."
Cathedral can still call itself the Irish, but will have to make its logo different from Notre Dame's.
"The letter said if we want to change the details of the leprechaun, it would be OK," Forti said. "I think after 85 years. We will still be called the 'Fighting Irish' by everyone in town. We will always be known by that, and it will be hard to change overnight."
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