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Embattled new Tennessee logo gets trademark approved

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's embattled new Tennessee logo has finally received approval from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The square logo features the white letters TN on a red field above white and blue bars. It has been criticized for both its simple design and because the Haslam administration spent $46,000 for a private agency to come up with it.

The governor has said the logo provides a consistent brand across state government and argued that none of the official state symbols could be trademarked.

The patent office denied the state of Tennessee's trademark application on the basis that it was primarily a geographic description. But the Haslam administration gained approval Tuesday after the name of the applicant was changed to the executive branch of Tennessee state government.