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The West Fargo Packer bull was recently updated by a local graphic design firm. the new logo looks much like the old logo, but is cleaned up a bit, Business Manager Mark Lemer said. Logo used by permission from the West Fargo School District.

U.S. Licensing Co. will police Packer logo trademark

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The West Fargo Packer bull logo recently received a bit of a makeover, and now it's nearly time for the district to cash in on the update.

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During Monday's West Fargo School Board meeting, members unanimously approved U.S. Licensing Co. to protect the district's investment. Chuck Noesen and his wife, Rose, own and operate the Fargo-based company, and were on hand Monday to explain why protecting the Packers logo is important.

"Think of it as an insurance policy," Chuck Noesen said. "But you need to do due diligence and protect your logo. Putting (a registered trademark) 'R' by it doesn't protect it."

He said USLC handles the trademark issues of nearly every Fargo-Moorhead area school, including high schools and colleges across the state. USLC also works with local and national vendors to notify them of trademark changes and get them on board.

Chuck Noesen said USLC charges vendors a one-time fee of $50, as well as a royalty fee of 7 percent. Of that, 2 percent is kept by USLC, while the remaining 5 percent returns to the school district.

West Fargo School Board members agreed that allowing USLC to handle the trademark issues of its logo would benefit the district. Chuck Noesen said that if, for some reason, the district were to not closely follow its trademark, it could be considered "abandonment of trademark," which opens the doors for other schools or entities to use a logo free of persecution.

The new Packers logo, which closely resembles West Fargo's previous logo, should be implemented by this fall. At that time, new items displaying the Packer bull will need to use the new logo.

West Fargo Business Manager Mark Lemer said the district worked with a local graphic design company on the Packer bull to "clean it up a little bit."

Chuck Noesen said USLC would contact vendors with a future cutoff date, at which time they could still sell any inventory previously purchased that displayed the old logo. However, all new merchandise would need to flaunt the new logo, and would then be subject to the 7 percent royalty fee.

There are exemptions, however. Items such as uniforms, class rings, and graduation items like cakes and cards, could be considered free from the trademark, Chuck Noesen said. USLC will come back to the board at a later date to discuss what items may or may not be under the trademark clause, but the company will otherwise police the trademark on a case-by-case basis.

Co-curricular costs increase for first time in 20 years

Also Monday, the West Fargo School Board unanimously approved a modest bump in co-curricular activity fees.

West Fargo Activities Director Curt Jones said the fees had not been increased in 20 years. He recommended an increase of $5 at the student level and $20 to the family maximum, which would bring in an extra $8,000 to $10,000 a year.

Even with the boost, however, West Fargo still charges one of the lowest amounts for co-curricular activities in the state. And compared with club sports, "it's still a bargain," board member Patti Stedman said. The co-curricular increase means middle-school level participation will cost $25, high-school participation will cost $35, and maximum family participation fee will be $140 at both levels.

Board Members Dave Olson and Kay Kiefer said they wondered if the increase should be more than that suggested by Jones.

"I have a really hard time with being the lowest school," Olson said.

"It's not that I want anyone to pay more, but when you don't see the money go out, you don't realize how expensive it is to" run athletic events," Kiefer said.

Jones said this modest jump was an attempt to be conservative, and that a stepped approach more in line with expected expense increases would be followed in years to come.

Lemer noted that, even with the price increase, the impact on the school's contribution would not be significant. The district currently spends more than $1 million dollars annually on co-curricular activates.

This change will be in effect for the 2011-12 school year.

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