Officials send cease and desist letter to high school using logo similar to trademarked “Supercat”

Assistant News Editor

Texas State has asked a high school in the Rio Grande Valley to stop using a bobcat logo that bares resemblance to the university’s trademarked “Supercat” it has been endeavoring to brand.

Rio Hondo High School in Rio Hondo, Texas has been using a yellow and black bobcat logo that resembles the maroon and gold one used by Texas State. The Collegiate Licensing Company, which contracts with Texas State, sent a cease and desist letter asking the high school to stop using the logo, said Jayme Blaschke, university spokesman.

“Our interest is solely to protect the trademark of the university and in no way should be interpreted as a negative reflection on the Rio Hondo School District,” according to a statement from Don Coryell, associate athletic director.

The school responded to the letter by sending out a memorandum Feb. 26, Blaschke said. Ismael Garcia, Rio Hondo Independent School District superintendent, sent the memorandum to all RHISD staff stating they must immediately stop using the bobcat logo because of the trademarks Texas State has on the it.

The “Supercat” is a symbol identified with Texas State and its brand, and as such, the university declines all requests for use of the logo, Blaschke said.

“We’re establishing our identity and the Supercat logo—we don’t want that to be diluted and stand for a whole bunch of schools,” Blaschke said. “The Supercat logo is Texas State, and Texas State is the Supercat logo.”
The bobcat logo used by Rio Hondo will be “phased out,” Blaschke said.

Julissa Lopez, Rio Hondo High School student, said she remembers hearing from peers that Texas State was asking her school to stop using their bobcat logo. A teacher confirmed to her that it was true. Lopez said her high school is now trying to change the logo because officials do not want to deal with the problem.

A letter from the school was sent home with students about a week ago with two logo options for them to choose from, Lopez said. The letter shows a “vintage” bobcat logo from before the school began using the one resembling Texas State’s, as well as a new emblem similar to the Supercat, but with more hair in its mane and teeth, she said.

“Everybody gets to vote on it and turn it in, and we get to find out what we’re going to use next,” Lopez said.

The deadline for students and parents to cast their votes on the new logo is April 11, according to the letter.

There have been mixed feelings toward Texas State asking Rio Hondo to cease and desist using the bobcat logo, Lopez said.

“A couple of people were upset about it because a lot of them have grown up with it,” Lopez said.

The school will district order new uniforms featuring the logo chosen by the students, Blaschke said.

“It’s not going to be a financial burden on the school because we’re working with them to make the transition as painless as possible,” Blaschke said.