UND FIGHTING HAWKS LOGO PRELIMINARY DESIGNS

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March 10, 2017


The University of North Dakota (UND) refused to provide copies of preliminary designs not selected for the new Fighting Hawks logo because it asserted that by contract, the records were the property of SME and SME had asserted the records were confidential proprietary information. The open records law cannot be limited by policy or contract. UND delegated part of its public duty of designing a logo for the new Fighting Hawks nickname to SME. SME is therefore an agent of UND and the records are subject to the open records law.

However, SME’s position that the preliminary designs not chosen by UND still have economic value because they will be used in future projects supports UND’s determination that the preliminary designs were protected proprietary and trade secret information. UND’s refusal to release the preliminary designs was lawful. 2017-O-01

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