Who Owns ‘TXST’?
January 14, 2011
Four simple letters. While so many on the outside of Bobcat culture do the obvious and abbreviate the name of Texas State University to TSU, the university since day one of the name change has been fighting for an abbreviation other than TSU to avoid infringing upon Texas Southern University and possibly Tarleton State University. Texas State finally settled on the powerful looking ‘TXST’ that so many Bobcats will proudly proclaim when someone on the outside references Texas State with the TSU acronym. But this begs the question, who owns ‘TXST’?
The TXST abbreviation used by Texas State is actually a registered trademark licensed to the university by the Old Grey Foundation, Inc., a charitable foundation created in 2005 by alumni of the Texas State Rugby Club. The designation TXST has been used informally since the rebranding of the university from Southwest Texas University in 2003.
In 2004 the Texas State Rugby Club began using the TXST designation for their t-shirts, stickers and promotions. According to Rugby Club Coach and Old Grey Foundation Secretary Scot Courtney, the university still had failed to trademark TXST by 2008, and so the Old Grey Foundation took it upon itself to file for a registered trademark on March 4, 2008 and was granted the trademark in July 7, 2009.
“Apparently the school didn’t see this as something worth having,” Courtney said. “But our goals are parallel with the schools so we see this as something that can benefit the student body.”
The agreement allows the university to use the TXST trademark in all press releases, marketing materials, advertising, communications, signage, social networking or other legitimate uses connected with Texas State University-San Marcos and its departments. ASG Vice President Colter Ray agrees that the agreement is very generous and thinks that there would be no reason that it should be discontinued in the future.
“It’s a very broad agreement that allows anyone to use it as long as it is not used to generate profit,” Ray said. “And what makes it so attractive is the low cost: $500 for three years of use.”
Courtney sees the TXST trademark’s value as something that will grow with the university and provide more opportunities for the student body.
“We thought that it might be of value in the future,” Courtney said. “So of course we wanted to connect it to the foundation. Our goals are parallel with the university.” Courtney said. “If at some point the school wished to continue the agreement or possibly purchase the trademark, the benefits of these actions will stay within the university.”
Courtney ultimately envisions a situation in which the Old Grey Foundation creates a rugby scholarship from the proceeds of future agreements.
The TXST trademark was filed on March 4, 2008 and granted on July 7, 2009 with the U.S. Reg. No. 3,649,427.