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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Yosemite's Identity Theft

The case involving the trademarked names of several of Yosemite National Park's attractions by former concessionaire Delaware North is dragging on in the courts. It really shouldn't be there in the first place.

Former Fresno Bee reporter Gene Rose covered the region's national parks for the newspaper for decades wrote an excellent opinion piece for the paper on Yosemite's identity theft by Delaware North.

He begins it with:
The current controversy over the Yosemite place names is a disgrace to many of our national institutions, especially to the National Park Service, the Patent and Trademark office and the courts. 
Imagine the confusion facing the first-time park visitor when arriving at park amid all the traffic, congestion and then to face the place name confusion. 
Admittedly, I have not seen that disputed contract, but the fallout is evident. The realization that the park service or concessionaire could write such language into a concessions contract defies logic and common sense. 
At the national level, the proliferation of trademark trolls underscores the reality that our very language and maps are at risk. 
Belatedly, the Trademark Office has recognized the pirating and formed the usual advisory committee – now that the horse is out of the barn.
Critics of the trademark dispute contend that place names from any approved government map of everyday usage should be off limits to the trademark opportunists.
Think of the fees I could garner if I could have trademarked my beloved California? 
Delaware North, the ousted Yosemite concessionaire, claims those place names have value and that is implicit to their contract. The company has even trademarked other locations, including such high profile sites as Grand Canyon.

To read more, go here.

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