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Longhorn logo to change after cease and desist

Johnson County Schools Secondary Supervisor Dr. Stephen Long holds a sample of the revised JCHS Longhorn logo. This version was created with the assistance of Johnson County Art teachers, it will be submitted for approval.

By Meg Dickens
STAFF WRITER

Johnson County’s beloved longhorn logo will be getting a redesign after the county received a cease and desist order from the Pirkey Barber Lawfirm on behalf of the University of Texas, based on copyright. According to Johnson County Schools Secondary Supervisor Dr. Stephen Long during the April 14 school board meeting, this is far from the first time that the University of Texas has gone after others with similar logos. Now Johnson County is faced with making a change or facing legal actions, which would cost a huge
amount with no guarantee of
winning.

Johnson County Schools’ administration spoke with their lawyer, Chris McCarty, who directed them to another lawyer in his firm that deals specifically with intellectual  property. Under the guidance of Nicholas Vescovo, Johnson County decided to focus on redesigning the longhorn logo while still staying true to the school’s image.

“We want to retain the integrity of what we know as the Johnson County Longhorns,” said Dr. Long. “This is actually a blessing in disguise because we need to get with a singular design and get it trademarked for ourselves.”

The first step in this  process is to come up with a new design. The administration reached out to art teachers in the county for their take on a new logo. According to Dr. Long, the new design is chunkier,  the ears are more rounded, the snout is narrower, and  the horns face a different direction than the Texas version. Vescovo emphasized that the horns are a major factor.

The current choice was approved by Director of Schools Mischelle Simcox, both athletic directors, and the Johnson County School Board.  The next step is to send this design to lawyers at Pirkey Barber and see whether it is acceptable.  If this is not approved, officials plan to insert county initials JC behind the silhouette.

The Johnson County School Board holds monthly meetings at Central Office on the second Thursday of the month, starting at 6 p.m. In light of COVID-19, officials now live-stream these meetings on the Johnson County Schools, TN Video YouTube channel.