Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Time for the feds to put a stop to U.S. Olympic Committee's trademark overreach

The United States Olympic Committee is at it again:
The U.S. Olympic Committee is protesting an effort by the parent company of The Olympian to trademark the newspaper's name.

The McClatchy Co. submitted its application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in October 2006, shortly after it bought Knight-Ridder, the newspaper’s former owner.

Lawyers representing the committee argue that the similarity in appearance and sound of its trademarks to The Olympian “tends to cause confusion or mistake, to deceive, and to falsely suggest a connection.”
This argument is wholly without merit.

The Olympian is a well known Washington newspaper that has been publishing for decades, and it was so named long before Congress foolishly granted the U.S. Olympic Committee the exclusive rights to the word "Olympic" in 1978. The paper's namesake, is, of course, the City of Olympia, which is the capital of our state.

As Ken noted when he criticized the USOC last year, the City of Olympia was incorporated on January 28th, 1859, decades before the United States Olympic Committee even existed. The Olympic Mountains were given their name by English explorer John Meares in 1778, and the name was officially recognized in 1864. The United States Olympic Committee was not created until thirty years later (1894), and did not adopt its present name until 1961... more than two decades after the creation of Olympic National Park.

The usage of the word "Olympic" in the Pacific Northwest predates the existence of the U.S. Olympic Committee. It is ludicrous that the Committee is spending its resources trying to intimidate or harass businesses that have Olympic in their name. That word and its derivatives are not the exclusive domain of the USOC.

But Larry Probst and his well paid lawyers selfishly think otherwise.

The USOC also seems to be having trouble getting along with the International Olympic Committee, which helps explain why Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Games was eliminated in the first round.

The federal government - either President Barack Obama, or Congress, or both - needs to intervene to stop the USOC from harassing Washington businesses. We certainly wouldn't mind a change in leadership. The people running the show now, so to speak, seem incredibly haughty and arrogant.

If they're incapable of changing their attitude, they should be replaced with people who better represent the values of the United States.


Post a Comment

<< Home