Park City scores federal trademark for municipal golf course | ParkRecord.com

Park City scores federal trademark for municipal golf course

Approval makes it clear City Hall owns the Thaynes Canyon links

Park City High School's JT Harman takes his turn putting on the 18th green at the Park City Golf Course during the Region 10 Meet Thursday, September 1, 2016. Teammate Ryker Ray and Tooele opponent Luke Begnaud eye their upcoming shots, hoping to only cost them one more stroke each. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)

Park City on Tuesday secured a federal trademark for one of the monikers used to refer to the Park City Golf Club, the first of a series of applications filed by City Hall officials covering municipal facilities or logos to be decided.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a trademark for the name "Park City Municipal Golf Course." It is not commonly used locally when referring to the City Hall-owned golf course in Thaynes Canyon, but it alludes to the broad ideal that the facility is under the control of the municipal government. A trademark application for the name "Park City Golf Club," which is commonly used to refer to the municipal course, is pending with the Patent and Trademark Office.

Officials over the past year filed trademark applications for several City Hall facilities and marks. Leaders pursued the trademarks in the period after a dispute involving a trademark application by Park City Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts seeking the rights to the name "Park City" as it applies to a mountain resort. Vail Resorts later abandoned the application amid broad community opposition.

The debate about the Vail Resorts "Park City" application, though, influenced City Hall to seek trademarks for certain facilities and graphics. Mark Harrington, the Park City attorney, said at the time the applications were meant to ensure there were not conflicts regarding the names later.

The Patent and Trademark Office registration documentation for the "Park City Municipal Golf Course" name outlines a series of uses or services covered by the trademark. They include golf lessons, tournaments, leagues, a website with information about golf and golf-related entertainment services. The uses or services are an important section of an approval since trademarks are limited in scope. The uses or services listed in the trademark essentially cover the everyday operations of the facility.

There was a back and forth between City Hall and the Patent and Trademark Office regarding the words "municipal golf course" as well as the wording of the list of uses or services, Patent and Trademark Office records show. The office at one point said the services listed by City Hall were "indefinite and must be clarified to further specify the type/nature of the services." City Hall in response rewrote the uses or services section and said it did not claim exclusive rights to use the broad term of "municipal golf course." There was no formal public opposition to the application, though.

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"The city wants to clarify that it owns that mark and to avoid any confusion with anyone that might be in the golf-course business," said Dave Dellenbach, a trademark attorney retained by the municipal government, adding, "It's all about clarity. It's important to be clear who is responsible and is providing the service."

The trademark allows a facility like the Park City Golf Club to "build on your reputation for high quality," Dellenbach said. "You can avoid confusion in the market."

The trademark application for the name "Park City Municipal Golf Course" was one of a set of filings made by City Hall in the months after the dispute involving the Vail Resorts application for the name "Park City." City Hall continues to pursue the other ones, but trademarks have not been granted. Some of the other applications include the name "Park City Ice Arena," the logo of the Park City Ice Arena and the longtime logo used by the municipality containing "Park City 1884," a nod to the year the city was incorporated.

Dellenbach said he anticipates the Patent and Trademark Office will grant the other trademarks sought by City Hall later this year or in 2018.