One doesn't have to journey far from Ohio State on a given Friday night in the fall to hear the Buckeyes' fight song being played by a high school band.

One doesn't have to journey far from Ohio State on a given Friday night in the fall to hear the Buckeyes' fight song being played by a high school band.

A substantial number of high schools around the area and across the state, including Licking Valley, New Albany, Newark and Watkins Memorial, have adopted "Across the Field" as their own, stirring fan bases that undoubtedly already have a good number of OSU fans into a spirited mood for their own local teams.

Others selected Ohio University's "Stand Up and Cheer" as their anthem. Still more chose "On Wisconsin" or -- gasp -- Michigan's "Hail to the Victors."

Co-existence has been friendly. High schools don't get cease-and-desist letters for using a fight song usually associated with a college or university.

Logos, however, are not subject to the same treatment, as anyone in or around Jonathan Alder High School in Plain City could attest.

For decades, the Pioneers have had two logos with black borders around a red "A". One is a dead ringer for the logo of the University of Arizona, whose colors are blue and red.

The schools are 1,630 miles apart as the crow flies and have no discernable connection. Yet somehow, word of Jonathan Alder's logo made its way to Tucson, Ariz., and the university sent a cease-and-desist letter to Jonathan Alder.

"Although we understand that your school may not have intended to create any issues by using the (trademark) in question, it is important for the university to be diligent in controlling all uses," the letter read.

Is it heavy-handed?

On first glance, yes. Arizona hardly needs to worry about anything going on in Plain City.

On the other hand, the university wants to have a logo only identifiable with itself.

Arizona should be credited for allowing Jonathan Alder to phase out use of the block "A". The Pioneers' current uniforms bearing that logo can be used until they need replaced.

This hardly is the first such case, nor will it be the last.

Springfield Catholic Central was told by the University of Notre Dame in 1996 to stop using its logo, and Toledo Whitmer got the same order from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010. Both high schools complied.

Nowadays, logos are but a click away on the Internet.

The argument colleges and universities inevitably use is that use of a logo by anyone other than the trademark holder dilutes the product and threatens its chance to retain rights to trademarks at the time for renewal.

It's a believable argument. But there is an important caveat, according to Steve Grant, a senior attorney at Standley Law Group in Dublin who specializes in intellectual property law.

"It's a source identifier and (organizations) must control the use. If others are allowed to use (a given) mark, the public may be confused as to the owner of goods and services provided," Grant said. "Now that said, the situation with Arizona and Jonathan Alder may be totally different if Jonathan Alder were the Wildcats. But they're not. The only thing was a letter that had the same color. ...

"To that extent, there was no need for a letter given that there is no basis for confusion. Anyone going to a Jonathan Alder football game is going to know they are not seeing the Arizona Wildcats, and anyone watching an Arizona Wildcats game knows they are not seeing Jonathan Alder."

Grant is an expert on the subject.

He also is an adjunct professor at Capital Law School, and is chairman of the Ohio State Bar Association's Intellectual Property Law Section.

So what is to stop, say, Ohio State from coming down on schools that play "Across the Field"?

Quite simply, it's that the song is copyrighted and not trademarked. In addition, it was written in 1915, and any work published before 1923 is in the public domain.

"Some special arrangements can be covered by copyright, but fight songs are not trademarked," Grant said.

Not that anyone would mistake a high school band for the OSU band, or that of any other major college or university.

Then again, Arizona and Jonathan Alder aren't exactly dead ringers for each other, either.

At least, not anymore.