Wolfpack becomes Wolf Pack
Loyola and N.C. State reach agreement in trademark dispute
Published: Friday, November 2, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 20:11
Loyola University has changed its name for sports teams from the “Wolfpack” to the “Wolf Pack” in accordance with an agreement reached with North Carolina State University.
N.C. State has registered trademark rights to the “Wolfpack” name. The school sent a cease-and-desist letter to Loyola in March of 2011 concerning the school’s use of the name.
Gregg Zarnstorff, Director of Trademark and Licensing at N.C. State, describes the agreement to add a space in the name as workable. Zarnstorff believes that Loyola will have adequate time to make changes to websites, printed material, apparel, products and signage.
“We will continue to monitor the market and progress of Loyola, but so far, everything seems on schedule,” Zarnstorff said via email.
Gita Bolt, General Counsel at Loyola, says that the agreement is a legal agreement. Thus, the terms are confidential.
University President the Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., is also satisfied with the university’s agreement. Wildes feels that Loyola’s name is embedded in the school’s tradition. Wildes points to many of the symbols in the Jesuit art and iconography.
“It is part of Loyola and part of our history as a Jesuit University as it comes from the shield,” Wildes said via email.
Zarnstorff says that the US Patent and Trademark Office requires trademark owners to address trademark infringement or trademark dilution. If no action is taken, the owner could lose its ability to enforce its trademark rights against other parties.
“At one time ‘kerosene,’ ‘escalator’ and ‘thermos’ were all trademarks, but lost their protected status when their owners failed to address unauthorized use,” Zarnstorff said via email.
Michael Giorlando, Athletic Director at Loyola, says that Loyola is in the process of trademarking the “Wolf Pack” name. According to Bolt, trademark is an important part of higher education.
“Branding and trademark plays a major role in higher education. Trademarked products serve as a major revenue stream at many universities,” Bolt said via email.
Giorlando says that Loyola has been going by the “Wolfpack” name since the 1920s. However, he is satisfied that a resolution has been reached.
“I am happy with the fact we are the Wolf Pack and am pleased to be moving forward,” Giorlando said.
Karl Gommel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org