Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Yosemite National Park involved in trademark dispute

When it comes to intellectual property matters many may assume the focus is in the tech sector. While these issues do of course arise in that context, there are many other situations in which disputes involving intellectual property might arise. This is illustrated in the recent trademark dispute concerning the names of landmarks and iconic hotels in Yosemite National Park.

The reason behind the changes is all business. A company called Delaware North that, after running the park’s outdoor activities, restaurants and hotels for over 20 years, recently lost a bid to run the facilities. That company holds the trademarks to these names and is seeking compensation for their use.

Delaware North filed a lawsuit against the park service alleging when it won the last contract the park service instructed it to purchase the concessionaire assets from the company that previously held the contract. According to the park service the trademarks are worth $3.5 million. Delaware North is seeking $51 million for the names and intellectual property related to the names.

Delaware North has also filed for trademark of another government owned location where it runs concessions.

The park service indicated it’s making the name changes so that it can continue to operate the venues while the case is dispute is being litigated.

It remains to be seen how this case will be resolved. As is the case with any intellectual property matter, it is vital that parties involved work with a lawyer who is well versed in the relevant laws.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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