Thursday, March 3, 2016

Bitter Contract Dispute Extends to Who Owns Yosemite Names; New York Times, 3/1/16

Thomas Fuller, New York Times; Bitter Contract Dispute Extends to Who Owns Yosemite Names:
"Sarah Maxwell, an official at the trademark office, said the law barred trademarking national or state flags, but there was no explicit prohibition on the trademarking of other American icons.
She added that there was a section of the United States Trademark Act that bars a trademark that “falsely suggest a connection” with a “national symbol.”
Affection for Yosemite runs deep. Yosemite Valley was set aside by Abraham Lincoln, who in the midst of the Civil War was shown photographs of the area and signed the Yosemite Grant Act, which protected Yosemite “for public use, resort and recreation.” The Park Service says Lincoln’s decision was the first time the federal government acted to protect land, paving the way for the creation of the National Park system.
Rhonda Salisbury, the chief executive of Visit Yosemite Madera County, a nonprofit organization that promotes tourism in the area, said the trademarking of Yosemite was “a big deal” among those fond of the park.
“It’s very personal. It’s hurtful,” she said. “With the U.S. in an uproar in the political scene, the last thing we need is someone to hold our parks hostage.”"

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