Daily Debriefing

by Neera Chatterjee | 12/2/08 4:17am

Masik Collegiate Fragrances has introduced a fragrance line that aims to capture various universities' "signature scents," according the company's web site. Masik says it draws its inspiration from school colors, campus landscape and architecture, school mascots and themes in universities' fight songs, among other attributes. The company has launched Pennsylvania State University and University of North Carolina perfumes and colognes, which cost $60 for a 3.4 ounce bottle. The Penn State perfume draws upon white patchouli, rose, lilac and vanilla, while the cologne has notes of cracked pepper and blue cypress, the Associated Press reported. The company plans to release six more university-inspired lines next year. A portion of profits will benefit the universities' scholarship and athletic funds, according to the Masik site.

Financial packages offered to students pursuing graduate degrees differ greatly among institutions, according to a study by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The study showed a number of variables that can affect costs, including field of study, location and provision of health insurance. Students enrolled in graduate science programs generally fare better than those in non-science fields, such as English, history or sociology. The report found that biology research assistants received, on average, $18,200 for a 12-month appointment, while students in English graduate programs received $13,387 for an academic year. Institutions with large endowments tend to offer larger stipends, though many universities have begun efforts to lower the cost to graduate students, the study found. A smaller stipend may have benefits, however, Tonia Compton, president of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students, told the Chronicle. Lower stipends may come with longer guarantees, fewer teaching responsibilities and smaller workloads, she told The Chronicle.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that university colors may be protected under trademark law, Inside Higher Ed reported Monday. Louisiana State University, Ohio State University, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Southern California argued that Smack Apparel, an unlicensed clothing producer, had purposely designed shirts "similar enough to their own licensed products," using colors and "indicia" of their football teams, but not logos or names. Indicia can include game scores, victory slogans and geographical locations, according to Inside Higher Ed. The court found that such products violate trademark law due to "the overwhelming similarity of the marks and the defendant's intent to profit from the universities' reputation." Universities that did not directly benefit from the ruling may have more power to enforce their trademark rights in the future, Charles Henn, a lawyer representing the universities, told Inside Higher Ed.

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