Wednesday, April 4, 2007

More place name news

Recall the hubbub going on about Martha Stewart applying to register the name of the town Katonah as a trademark for indoor lighting, paints, home furnishings, and furniture. Well, I agree with The Trademark Blog's assessment on the issue.

But what to think of this?

The Orange County Register reports on Coto de Caza resident Joseph Lewis Aguirre's trademarking activities. It appears Mr. Aguirre has applied for trademark registration on Coto de Caza and other California communities.

In fact, Mr. Aguirre has the mark COTO DE CAZA registered on the supplemental register for "retail store service and online retail store services featuring a wide variety of consumer goods for others, namely, hats, golf equipment, golf accessories and clothing suitable for golf course wear."

According to the OCR, Mr. Aguirre contacted the Coto de Caza Golf & Racket Club demanding payment of some sort:

Aquirre applied for trademark registration of many of the symbols used by the Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club, but that registration has not yet been granted according to the government's Web site.

"He (Aguirre) made contact with us. According to our legal department he has no standing. We have not paid him any money," said Matthew Gabos, director of operations at the club.

He also contacted various other organizations telling them to cease using his trademarks.

On March 4, Aguirre wrote a letter to the CZ Master Homeowners' Association saying it did not have permission to use his trademarks, including community names and symbols that have long been used by the association and other area businesses.

"He tried to tell us we could not use the name 'Coto de Caza,'" said Bob Varo, president of the CZ Masters' Association board of directors.

For some reason the comments in the OCR story are not too complementary towards Mr. Aguirre. Wonder why?

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