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Steph
11-11-2010, 12:56 PM
Did anyone see the article in today's Conway Daily Sun regarding the Omni Resort wanting to trademark the name Mount Washington? Here is a quote from the article:
"The Mount Washington Hotel and Resort is trying to trademark the words "Mount Washington" Not "Mount Washington Hotel and Resort" but Mount Washington. They have already sent a cease and desist order to more than one business in our valley telling them that they must stop using Mount Washington in their name or face a legal challenge to its use". This letter came from Ed Butler who is Carroll County District 1 Representative.

Snow Miser
11-11-2010, 03:15 PM
I would think that USPTO would find the words "Mount Washington" too generic, and not grant the issuance of protection. It's too widely used for the hotel to claim exclusive rights to it. They could probably get a trademark for their name "Mount Washington Hotel and Resort" or a logo since that's exclusive to them. Will be interesting to seeing how this turns out.

mtruman
11-11-2010, 04:54 PM
Insane!! Trademarking the name of a mountain?? Really??? The USPTO does does some seemingly very dumb things but lets hope they draw the line before this. I also hope that this backfires on the Mount Washington Hotel. They could get some pretty bad press out of this if the valley businesses make an issue of it (which they should).

Brad
11-11-2010, 09:08 PM
It is an interesting article. And somewhat disturbing for many companies and organizations which have "Mount Washington" in their names. I thought a company's name was protected based on registering the company. So, I am not sure what a registered trademark does extra. Mount Washington Hotel & Resort should not have a problem with Mount Washington Soap or Mount Washington Cable because they are different businesses. One might try to argue that Mount Washington Inn or Mount Washington Motel is close to "the real thing" and a person could be confused when they really wanted Mount Washington Hotel & Resort. But, that would be a stretch since MWH&R is in a completely different level of "temporary accommodations". This will be interesting to follow.

To see what the original trademark requests were, go to http://www.trademarkia.com/trademarks-search.aspx?tn=mount+washington

There used to be (and maybe still is) a company called Mount Washington Crystal and there is a Mount Washington Cable in Mount Washington, KY. Many states have a Mount Washington. Thanks for highlighting the article for us.

Charlie
11-11-2010, 10:51 PM
so then Mt Washington cant even call itself Mt Washington any more

Brad
11-12-2010, 06:58 AM
so then Mt Washington cant even call itself Mt Washington any more

If you called it Washington's Mount you would be confusing it with his horse. Very confusing.:confused:

KSearl
11-12-2010, 12:24 PM
Hey Everyone,

Is the article online? I can't seem to find it. If so, can you someone post the link? I would love to read it.

Thanks,
Karl

MelNino
11-12-2010, 02:33 PM
I was just about to post this! It's crazy.

http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20101111-NEWS-101119947

RI Swamp Yankee
11-12-2010, 02:56 PM
A PDF version of the Conway Daily Sun (November 11, 2010) is here:

http://www.laconiadailysun.com/pdf/2010/11/11.pdf

The letter to the editor is on page 7. (left side of page 7)

Snow Miser
11-12-2010, 04:37 PM
so then Mt Washington cant even call itself Mt Washington any more

Maybe their motive is to license the name to whoever wants to use it??? Just a thought.

Bill O
11-12-2010, 07:47 PM
Let's not get "news" confused with "letters to the editor"...that's just dumb. Anybody can write anything in a letter, there's no fact checking, just the discretion of the editor to publish it. I wouldn't get up in a bunch until you get some real facts.

fifteendays
11-13-2010, 12:29 AM
It's actually correct. The letter to the editor came from a local State Representative who called me (and many other local business leaders, I'm sure) as a courtesy prior to publishing the letter. We're certainly giving this issue some serious attention, and we hope that Omni and CNL will choose to coexist peacefully with the local business community without taking such a bold position. They've taken a pretty big PR hit so far. I see their point to some degree, but at what cost?

Scot Henley
MWO Executive Director

RI Swamp Yankee
11-13-2010, 02:04 PM
There is a much bigger story, with some nice pictures, in the Weekend edition of The Conway Daily Sun here:
http://www.laconiadailysun.com/pdf/2010/11/13.pdf

Here are some tidbits from the USPTO:
Current Status: Further action on the application has been suspended.
Date of Status: 2010-09-17
Filing Date: 2008-06-23

You can search the USPTO site here:
http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/index.jsp

There are several applications on file, all suspended, starting in June 23, 2008

Snow Miser
11-13-2010, 02:12 PM
Suspend. Good news!

Brad
11-13-2010, 08:59 PM
Check out the definitions of copyright and trademark. They are for quite different purposes. Trademarks are used for things like a phrase or slogan (and other things). We could trademark "The Highest Paid Employees in New England" referring to the MWO observers. No one would probably object.

When one creates a business or organization you have to do a name search to make sure your selected name has not been taken - or is too close to an existing one and could cause confusion. That name is copyrighted. Mount Washington Observatory is a registered organization name. Mount Washington Hotel & Resort is a registered corporate name (they used to be Mount Washington Hotel). Somewhat close - but, I would doubt anyone would confuse a hotel with a weather observatory. If someone tries to create a Mount Washington Inn or a Mount Washington Motel, then one could argue there might be confusion. Normally the existing company (Mount Washington Hotel & Resort in this example) would be the one to argue their case and prevent the newer company from using that name.

It is a company's responsibility to protect their name. Coca Cola worked hard on this about 40 years ago. People were asking for a coke and getting a Pepsi. I am sure that Coca Cola's lawyers said protect the name or you will lose it as it could become common language. So, Coca Cola had people going to different places and ordering a coke. If they were served a Pepsi, the company was sued and some tried to fight it. There were some restaurants who were fined big time for violating Coca Cola's copyright.

Kleenex did not fight to protect their copyright enough - in my mind. And now any tissue is called a Kleenex and I am not aware of anyone being taken to court for it. I am sure there is some time period in which one must challenge to protect your copyright. The Mount Washington Hotel was created in 1902. If other companies came along after that with a similar name and the Mount Washington Hotel did not object, at some point their inaction says it is okay. But, this all is copyright stuff. (Please remember I am not a lawyer and I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night).

The action the NH Representative is commenting on references the trademark requests we can all see off the Trademark site, for a trademark. Very different. Can one trademark a place - Mount Washington? A Google search for "Mount Washington" tells us of our beloved in NH - plus one in Pittsburg, PA - plus, in Mass - and Los Angeles, CA - Baltimore, MD - Kentucky. Can one trademark something that is not unique?

So, I see two different actions here. One is to register the phrase "Mount Washington" as a trademark. Even if they get that, I am not sure what it does for them. The second thing from the article is they are contacting other companies to protect their copyright for the corporate name. Going after "new" companies makes sense and any company should do that. But, if they have not objected to an organization that has been in business for 50 or more years, then maybe the time has run out.

I am travelling tomorrow. So, I will be looking for a Holiday Inn Express to make sure I understand this fully.

BlueDog
11-13-2010, 09:15 PM
If by some wild stretch of the imagination they were given the trademark, it would only apply to businesses in the same industry. So it you own the Mount Washington Motel or Mount Washington Bead & Breakfast, you might have a problem. However, there is no way to confuse the hotel with Mount Washington Car Wash, so no issue.

Bill O
11-14-2010, 11:30 AM
Seems like more people on this forum understand the issues (or non-issue) then the person who wrote the original letter to the editor. It's a non-issue. You can't trademark the word "Mount Washington"...but you can try. You could spell it differently and trademark that, or trademark the words "Mount Washington Hotel". And, like Bluedog said, it would only apply to businesses in the same industry.

Some other thoughts. The Mount Washington Hotel doesn't care about making other hotel owners mad...they care about protecting their business identity. I bet Coca-Cola angered businesses when they sued them over the issue Brad mentioned. I bet they didn't care either. They are in the business of doing business, not letting other companies steal their identity. In Coke's case that's their most valuable asset, their brand name and copyrights.

Breeze
11-17-2010, 01:22 PM
Crossposting this from another forum, I am the original author and have edited.

Actually, there is a small B&B in Shelburne that has the name Mount Washington B&B. It is easily 70+ miles by road from the The Mount Washington Hotel, but the B&B owner participates in many of the MWV marketing venues. I'm sure they will be impacted by this and it seems a lot like targeting an ant hill with a nuclear warhead. 8 rooms vs the vast Bretton Woods establishment?

What is so hilarious to me about this situation is the HUGE number of tourists I see during the spring, summer and fall seasons who have printed MapQuest or Google Maps driving directions to the Mount Washington Hotel or to the Mount Washington Cog Railway. Invariably they wind up at the Mount Washington Auto Road almost 60 miles off course.

I'm talkin' about easily a dozen to twice that many people a day at the height of season. Totally irritating to tourists, not much less irritating to AR staff and I'm sure the MWSP staffers at the summit. Its hard not to chuckle , or bite your lips to keep from chuckling, when an outraged foreign speaker waves a sheaf of Google Maps in your face as proof of your incompetence. The COMPUTER says YOU ARE WRONG. THIS IS THE WAY!

Well, there is a reason for it. MapQuest and Google search FIRST on the ZIP CODE for Mt Washington. The Mt Washington Summit has it's own zip code, 03589, at 44.16 / -71.32, and thats where the confusion lies.

Automated mapping systems will match the zip code location Long/Lat on the ini- search string and find the closest road way to get you there. Happens to be the Mount Washington Auto Road.

Sorry CNL, you've got a bigger problem here than you think, ( its 6288' tall with a coded post office on top) and it isn't your perceived local competition that confuses your guests. By the Grace of your neighbors, we'll send your guests to you as quickly and expeditiously as possible. It isn't their fault or ours they can't find you.

Breeze

Bill O
11-17-2010, 08:06 PM
Microsoft Streets and Trips used to think all the trails on Mount Washington were drive-able roads.

mtruman
11-18-2010, 06:18 AM
That's just awesome Sue!! Perhaps if the hotel is able to get their rights to the name they could also arrange to have the mountain moved - and dropped on top of the hotel. They might have more luck with guests showing up in the right location that way! ;)

Brad
11-18-2010, 08:43 AM
That's just awesome Sue!! Perhaps if the hotel is able to get their rights to the name they could also arrange to have the mountain moved - and dropped on top of the hotel. They might have more luck with guests showing up in the right location that way! ;)
Well, when I saw a kid - - - there was a hotel on the top of Mt Washington.

fifteendays
11-18-2010, 02:22 PM
Hi folks,

Here's an update for you... Apparently, CNL has revised their filing to specifically limit the area protected only to lodging. They are working closely with one of the three lodging businesses in the area that they originally targeted, and it seems to be headed towards a licensing agreement very much in the favor of the small business. My sense is that this got out of control very quickly and CNL is looking to remedy the situation in an amicable way as quickly as possible.

As far as the Observatory is concerned, we continue to do our homework on this issue. At this point, it doesn't appear to be a threat, but it has certainly sparked discussion within our Executive Committee about protecting some of our own names and phrases.

Scot Henley
Executive Director

hobbes
11-19-2010, 08:25 AM
Perhaps one day trademarks will go the way of #1 rankings in Google: Mount Washington (https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=mount+washington).
Hummm... maybe CNL should pay the Obs a licensing fee :p

- Hobbes (TM)

Brad
11-19-2010, 09:37 AM
What is interesting to me is the Mount Washington Hotel & Resort is not consistent with its name. Some places it is The Mount Washington Hotel. Other places it is the Mount Washington Resort. On their web site it is called the Bretton Woods Hotel. Other places it is the Omni Mount Washington Hotel. They seem to be a moving target with names. After a bit of research I see the Mount Washington Resort is the overseeing thing. In it are several entities 3 of which are hotels. The Mount Washington Hotel, The Bretton Arms and the Lodge. Then they use other names inconsistently. An article about the revision is at http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9JHG13O0.htm

Brad
11-19-2010, 10:52 AM
I love thinking about topics like this - what seems like an interesting question ends up with seeing things differently or new. So, I am off on the topic of what words or phrases "are" Mount Washington Observatory's or should be. Maybe these should be trademarked to protect them as Scot suggests. I am sure the Executive Committee has started a list. But, will we come up with additional ones?

My list includes

- Home of the World's Worst Weather
- MWOBS
- Weather Discovery Center
- ObsCast
- EduTrip
- DayTrip
- Seek The Peak
- Auto Road Vertical Profile
- Science in the Mountains
- Windswept
- The Weather Notebook
- Sunset Soiree
- MWO
- Century Club
- pitot anemometer
- The Goodhue Society
- Igniting a Passion for Science
- Gladys Brooks Memorial Library
- Summit Club
- "231" Club
- 6,288 Club
- Mount Washington Regional Mesonet
- Ultimate Mount Washington

Any others? It was interesting coming up with this list. Do you know what The Goodhue Society is? I do now.

Breeze
11-19-2010, 12:09 PM
Brad, you are right about the different identities within the Mount Washington Resort. i was scratching my head about that yesterday, too, and wondering if I were the only one who noticed it.

Breeze

RI Swamp Yankee
11-19-2010, 02:02 PM
What is interesting to me is the Mount Washington Hotel & Resort is not consistent with its name. ...
That is another issue that has people in the valley upset. The current owners of the hotel built by Joseph Stickney from 1900 to 1902 may have a claim on the name Mount Washington Hotel but the two words Mount Washington alone were not used and can not be claimed by CNL which is why their application has been suspended for over 2 years. They were clearly out of line sending "cease and desist" letters since they had no legal claim on those 2 words.

Breeze
11-19-2010, 04:27 PM
A great article in the New Hampshire Business Review published today

http://tinyurl.com/2ejw3qt ( yes I used tiny url, promise it won't bite you).

Breeze

Brad
11-19-2010, 05:57 PM
A great article in the New Hampshire Business Review published today

http://tinyurl.com/2ejw3qt ( yes I used tiny url, promise it won't bite you).

Breeze
That is the best article I have seen. Very well written.

Breeze
11-19-2010, 08:36 PM
MNSHO-- ? Rant ON

Its a yellow snow contest. CNL Lifestyle Properties corporate slogan is Owning America’s Lifestyle?. Yes, its a registered slogan.


There are comments all over the net about folks who want to boycott CNL over this situation, never going to Bretton Woods/ MWH or MWR, but they better be looking at the bigger picture : CNL is behind Loon, Cranmore and Bretton Woods in the MWV as well as Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine. Not to mention the rest of their portfolio across the US.

Deep pockets are one thing, but abuse of public domain names and a ham fisted smack-down of shared stewardship of resources and shared community tourism marketing is purely corporate yellow snow.

I'd be delighted to see them eat their yellow snow.

Ok, rant off, for now.

Breeze

Brad
11-19-2010, 08:39 PM
I would add the MWO and the Seek The Peak logos to my list above.

Snow Miser
11-20-2010, 09:24 AM
A great article in the New Hampshire Business Review published today

http://tinyurl.com/2ejw3qt ( yes I used tiny url, promise it won't bite you).

Breeze

Excellent article Breeze. Thanks for posting!

Snow Miser
11-20-2010, 09:32 AM
There are comments all over the net about folks who want to boycott CNL over this situation, never going to Bretton Woods/ MWH or MWR, but they better be looking at the bigger picture : CNL is behind Loon, Cranmore and Bretton Woods in the MWV as well as Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine. Not to mention the rest of their portfolio across the US.

I automatically boycott these large resorts by default. I'd much rather patronize the little Mom & Pop establishments when in NH, ME, VT, or just traveling in general. It's in the small, local community places that one can experience what an area is all about. :)