Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Sun Sets on Showdown Over Pistol Pete Mascot

OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) - It turns out there won't be a showdown over two universities' claims to a popular gun-toting mascot after all.

Oklahoma State University on Wednesday agreed to drop its trademark infringement lawsuit against New Mexico State University over the use of its gun-toting Pistol Pete mascot.

OSU sued New Mexico State in October in Federal Court, claiming the university had wrongly appropriated the mascot it had been using since 1930.

The mustachioed Oklahoma mascot, based on Old West cowboy-lawman Frank Eaton, wears a big cowboy hat and chaps and carries two pistols. A live version of the mascot costumed in orange and black roams the sidelines of OSU football games.

OSU argued NMSU's Classic Aggie mascot was "confusingly similar" to Pistol Pete, right down to his whiskers, and that NMSU has "previously acknowledged" OSU's rights to the trademark.

But the schools signed a licensing agreement on Wednesday that allows NMSU to continue using the Classic Aggie image "on a limited number of materials," ending the lawsuit.

"We appreciate our friends at Oklahoma State University and their willingness in helping to resolve this dispute," said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. "The Classic Aggie is a piece of NMSU nostalgia and this agreement allows us to continue using our Classic Aggie on items that might be appealing to our alumni and the NMSU community."

OSU president Burns Hargis said the school "is pleased" to resolve the matter over the school's "long-held interest in its trademarks."

The schools said the licensed image is similar to one used by NMSU up until a decade ago.

NMSU shied away from Pistol Pete in 2005 by introducing a different cowboy mascot whirling a lasso over his head. Nicknamed "Lasso Larry" by disapproving students and alumni, the new mascot was dropped after a year.

The new mascot was later changed to its current state of hold two pistols, with little resemblance to Pistol Pete.

Under the settlement, NMSU will pay a nominal $10 licensing fee per year for permission to sell or gift a maximum of 3,000 items per year with the Classic Aggie image.

Follow @davejourno
Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.