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SMS officials confirm they've applied for the trademark for the name Missouri State University but they say their application is contingent upon the actions of the Missouri General Assembly. Lawmakers are considering whether to rename the Springfield-based school by dropping the regional designation from the name Southwest Missouri State University. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.
When news of the trademark application spread this weekend, some opponents of the SMSU name change proposal were angry.
Representative Bryan Pratt says it was presumptuous of the university to apply for a trademark on a name it doesn't have.
John Black, SMSU's attorney, says the trademark application was not presumptuous because it's contingent upon the legislature approving the name change.
The Senate sponsor of the name change, Springfield Senator Norma Champion says she doesn't believe SMS has done anything to overstep the legislature.
She says protecting the name while lawmakers decide the issue is a smart move.
While Champion and other name change supporters say SMS should become Missouri State University, opponents say that name is already taken'They say it belongs to the University of Missouri-Columbia.
And though Representative Bryan Pratt says he's frustrated that SMS is trying to trademark the name, he says in the end, the trademark application doesn't mean anything.
A senate committee has already approved the name change bill'It's slated to go to the senate floor for debate in the coming weeks.