Olympic Rings Violate Trademark

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PIKE COUNTY -- A school district in the Poconos will have to find a new way to show its pride in athletics.

Officials said the Olympic rings have been on Wallenpaupack's crest for decades, but the U.S. Olympic Committee called asking the district to stop using the rings.

Every two years, those familiar five rings make a big splash around the world at the summer or winter Olympic Games.

They're the trademark of the International Olympic Committee, not the Wallenpaupack Area School District, but the superintendent said those same five rings have adorned the district's going back to the early 1970s.

"They obviously have a legitimate concern. It's a trademarked item. We do have to come up with a plan of phasing it out," said Superintendent Michael Silsby.

Phasing out the rings because Silsby said an attorney for the U.S. Olympic Committee called last week, saying the school could no longer use the rings to represent athletics.

The crest is on everything from employee badges to handbooks to the school's police vehicle.

School officials said in order to save the district money, the version of the crest with the rings will be phased out over time.

"We showed a willingness to work with them, very cooperative to make this change happen," added Silsby.

Now that Wallenpaupack Area School District has to submit a written plan including how it will phase out those Olympic rings on its crest, it may ask students to put something else on there and some students already have some ideas.

"They could go with a different design now, make it a new design, with something along with the mascot," said senior Malachi Schafer.

Schafer is taking graphic design at Wallenpaupack Area High School and said antlers, a symbol of the school's mascot, the buckhorn, would be a fitting replacement for the olympic rings and something unique to the school.

"Instead of well-known things, have something more personal," said Schafer.

And something that won't interfere with an international brand.

5 comments

  • Wallenpaupack Alumni

    It still will not be the same , the crest has been the same since the beginning of Wallenpaupack . Even if they do change it the real crest will be the one with the rings and besides why did they wait til now to complain.

  • My Dog Is Smarter Than You

    I’m really glad the Olympic Committee is finally focusing on this instead of all those petty doping scandals, countries paying their athletes to compete, cities buying hosting rights and such. Glad the REAL important stuff is now on their radar.

    • Bruce Bownana

      Well said. True that this is a trademark, but this is an educational establishment. It’s not like they are profiting from use of the rings. Plus I think if it’s been around for 30+ years or whatever and didn’t do anything about it, it should stay.

    • E

      Well your dog really is smarter that you if you can’t solve this without help. Ha ha! The simple and incredibly obvious reasons that the Olympic committee wants this removed are simple. First is they clearly weren’t aware that it was being used, so stating that the school has used it for years is completely meaningless but typical for the “locals”. I’m sure you think very highly of that area but I assure you the Olympic committee wasn’t even aware that Wallenpaupack school even existed until they were notified of the trademark infringement. Lol. As for the second, and most obvious reason, the people at the highly prestigious Olympic committee would NEVER in any way want to be associated with any school district in NEPA. Your high opinion of that area isn’t shared by people whom don’t live there. :)

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