Wednesday, January 19, 2005

"TORREY PINES" TTAB Dispute Roils San Diego

A TTAB dispute over the TORREY PINES trademark has the San Diego community all atwitter. Torrey Pines, the city's municipal golf course, is scheduled to be the site of the U.S. Open in 2008. Consequently, the TORREY PINES trademark is about to become a much more valuable property.
The Lodge at Torrey Pines, located adjacent the golf course and the Torrey Pines State Reserve, has petitioned to cancel a registration for the mark TORREY PINES for clothing, golf equipment, and golf instruction services, owned by the Torrey Pines Club Corporation, which runs the pro shop at the golf course. In a pending summary judgment motion, the Lodge contents that the registrant was not the owner of the mark when it sought registration, but was a mere non-exclusive licensee of the city of San Diego. Therefore, the Lodge argues, the registration is void. Registrant apparently argues that the license granted by the city was a "naked" license, and thus the city abandoned its rights in the mark, which registrant now owns. A recent news article in the San Diego Union-Tribune provides background for the TTAB story.

Attendees at the 2005 INTA annual meeting, slated for San Diego in May 2005, may want to take a busman's holiday to the Torrey Pines Golf Course to see just what this brouhaha is all about.


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