Wes Clark of Burbankia discovered this a few years ago. The Chamber’s sudden intrusion into the airport boosterism business makes it a good time to look at what they were up to:
POSTSCRIPT: While reading the City of Burbank’s 100th anniversary commemorative book I noticed that the editors took pains to include a “tm” mark wherever they cited the phrase “Beautiful Downtown Burbank.” “Who holds the trademark?” I wondered. So I looked it up using the Patent and Trademark Office’s search tool, on their website. Here is what came up:
Word Mark BEAUTIFUL DOWNTOWN BURBANK
Goods and Services IC 035. US 100 101 102. G & S: Chamber of commerce services, namely, promoting business and tourism in the Burbank, California area.
FIRST USE: 20070927. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20070927
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number 77075884
Filing Date January 4, 2007
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition July 10, 2007
Registration Number 3373639
Registration Date January 22, 2008
Owner (REGISTRANT) Burbank Chamber of Commerce Chamber of Commerce CALIFORNIA 200 W. Magnolia Blvd. Burbank CALIFORNIA 91502
Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE “DOWNTOWN BURBANK” APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE
Ah-ha! Since 2008 the phrase “Beautiful Downtown Burbank” has been a service mark owned by the Burbank Chamber of Commerce. Good thinking…
No, it wasn’t.
The Chamber actually had no legal right to do such a thing so late in the game after X number of years of generic usage completely apart from them; as well the expression having a known pedigree not connected with the group at all (Carson and NBC instead). And so why they’d want to do this raises some good questions.
It’s unenforceable as hell. It’s also pretty nervy.