Chrysler, maker of the Ram truck, issued Florida’s Lake Mary High School a cease and desist letter asking them to change their mascot logo, which happens to be a direct copy of the Dodge Ram logo. Chrysler asked the school to remove all instances of the logo on its merchandise, team uniforms, signage and even its gym floor, leaving taxpayers with a hefty bill. The knee jerk reaction would be to criticize Chrysler for picking on a little guy, but the fault lies squarely with the high school. Most would be hard pressed to blame Chrysler in this case, who have every right to protect their brands.
Seems like this could have been easily avoided. You don’t need to be trademark expert to know that is illegal to steal another organizations identity. It seems even more odd that, according to one Lake Mary alum, the school had gone through a similar issue in the 1990’s when they co-opted the T. Rowe Price logo. I’m hoping the St. Louis Ram’s are keeping a close eye on the next iteration.
As I drove through my neighborhood I noticed a local high school sporting a logo that was a dead on copy of the Minnesota Vikings mascot, and realized that the use of trademarked symbols is fairly rampant in high schools. There is probably a low risk of brand dilution because of these usages, but unless authorized it's still trademark infringement.
For Chrysler, this was really more of an exercise in public affairs than trademark law. To their credit they offered to pay for the creation of a new logo for the school.