"We're looking to do everything we can to retain our logo," says Dr. Matt Summers, superintendent of Green Forest public schools. They're different colors, but two Tigers' growls are coming in a little too close to the same pitch, according to the University of Missouri.
"They're asking us to cease usage of our logo in its entirety," Summers says. Green Forest public schools in Carroll County received a letter last month from the Collegiate Licensing Company, or CLC, representing Missouri and making the request.
"The issue is with Green Forest's use of a design of a tiger head that looks very similar to the university's protected trademark," says Jim Aronowitz, a CLC representative.
"I disagree," Summers says. "If you look at the two side by side, you don't confuse them."
Monday night the Green Forest school board voted to move forward with challenging the change. Multiple lawyers have already offered to help fight the case for free, if it got to that point.
Summers says this type of controversy could be costly, as it's not covered in their liability insurance by the Arkansas
School Board Association.
"The university is not looking for Green Forest to stop using the logo tomorrow or the next day," Aronowitz says. "Missouri is very open and very willing to allow the high school to phase out this particular design over a period of time."
"We'd just like to have our logo," Summers says. "It's something we've grown fond of.
Back in 2004, University of Missouri issued a similar complaint against the Bentonville High School's then-logo. The Benton County Daily Record reported the school was to change the look of the mascot to protect the copyright of the University.
They complied, converting to the logo they use today.