I am intrigued by the Chicago State University claim that the hedges trimmed to spell out the institutional initials are protected as part of its trademark because they are a distinctive landmark on the campus.
Let’s consider some of the elements of this assertion.
First, there is a difference between simple initials and a logo. Here are the logos of Chicago State University, Cleveland State University, and Colorado State University:
And here are the sports logos of Chicago State University, Cleveland State University and Colorado State University:
And here are logos for Cleveland State University and Colorado State University that include only the institutional initials and are not officially endorsed and seem to be used much less frequently than the other logos:
Ironically, but perhaps all too predictably, I could not find a logo for Chicago State University that includes only the institution’s initials.
Second, there is the issue of whether the specific hedges are a landmark that makes them the equivalent of a trademark.
I did a Google image search for “CSU Hedges” the only image of the hedges in question that appeared on the entire page was this:
So it seems to me that the hedges as an image are arguably—if not very clearly– associated more with the blog than with the university.
If the university does not like that association, then perhaps they should remove the hedges.
Images appended to illustrate my comment below: