School Board to Trademark E-Hawk Brand, Reviews District Progress as School Winds Down
by Joseph Schany
The Emmetsburg Community School District Board of Education moved to trademark both the E-Hawk name and muscle bird logo during Wednesday night’s meeting at the high school library.
Board President Jane Hoyman, along with Darren Hanna, ECSD Superintendent, previously reached out to former Emmetsburg resident Sean Solberg, an attorney specializing in patent law, to discuss the merits of filing a trademark on the name and image.
“The issue for me as a superintendent is that I really believe if somebody wants to profit from our brand, they should have the permission of the school board to do so,” said Hanna. “The board should have the right to say who can use it and what they can use it for. Right now the way the internet works, you can have your brand show up on anything and it causes a lot of issues, and I don’t think anybody should profit without having a conversation first. I want parents and community members to understand if it says E-Hawks on it, it has been blessed by the board and it maintains the district’s vision and mission.”
According to Hoyman and Hanna, an official trademark would also help unify the school’s brand and provide a level of control over the consistency of the image.
“What this would do is essentially brand the E-Hawks so that no one is making the logo with little, short birds,” said Hoyman. “It would be consistent.”
“We would get control over it,” added Hanna. “This is our look and this is the way we want it to be.”
Hanna pointed out the practice is not uncommon among schools, noting Spencer has three trademarks on the Tigers brand.
“The E-Hawk is a pretty unique brand,” said Hanna, “and if we are going to use that brand I think we should keep it that way. It’s a way to keep our branding and presence out there, while the school is in control of it.”
At a price of $850/application, it will cost around $1,700 plus attorney fees to trademark both the name “E-Hawks” and the muscle bird logo.
The motion to file the paperwork with the law firm passed following one objection from board member Bill Huberty.
Read the full article in The Reporter.