Park City monitors coffee firm, ski shop trademark bids | ParkRecord.com

Park City monitors coffee firm, ski shop trademark bids

City Hall secures more time to consider formal oppositions

Park City leaders are considering whether they will formally oppose federal trademark applications filed by two businesses with the name of the city in their monikers, continuing the community-wide interest in the trademarking process and the use of the name 'Park City' in the months after a bitterly contested dispute involving the name of the city.

City Hall filed paperwork with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicating the municipal government is considering opposing trademarks sought by Park City Coffee Roaster and Park City Sport for the names of the businesses. The Patent and Trademark Office granted an extension on the period to oppose the Park City Coffee Roaster application until April 22 while the extension granted on the Park City Sport opposition period runs until July 5.

Park City officials have not decided whether they will file formal oppositions to the two trademark applications, City Attorney Mark Harrington said. He said securing the extensions provides time to allow Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council to consider whether the municipal government will formally oppose the applications.

Harrington said the elected officials are able to discuss the matter in closed-door sessions based on state law that allows a government body to address legal issues in private. He said, though, it was not clear whether the issue would be discussed in an open or closed setting. The city attorney did not address the details of the potential opposition.

The Park City Coffee Roaster and Park City Sport trademark applications are among a string of filings with the Patent and Trademark Office in the past year as businesses, not-for-profit organizations and government institutions attempt to secure trademarks for names that involve the words "Park City."

They were largely filed in response to concerns raised as a result of an attempt by Vail Resorts, the Colorado-based owner of Park City Mountain Resort, to trademark the name "Park City" as it relates to a mountain resort. Vail Resorts eventually abandoned the trademark efforts amid fierce resistance in Park City to the idea of a corporate interest securing the rights to the name of the city. City Hall was among the upward of 100 individuals, government entities and others that took steps with the Patent and Trademark Office to potentially formally oppose the Vail Resorts' application.

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The applications filed in the past year are winding their way through the federal process, which can involve a lengthy timeline as the Patent and Trademark Office considers the names and marks and publishes them for opposition before making a decision. Park City Coffee Roaster filed the trademark application in late July, nearly seven months before the Patent and Trademark Office published the application for opposition and nearly eight months before City Hall filed the paperwork to potentially oppose the application.

The coffee company started in 1997 and did not seek a trademark until the disputes in 2016 about the name of the city. One of the co-owners of Park City Coffee Roaster, Rob Hibl, has said he anticipated it would secure the trademark during the first quarter of 2017.

In an interview regarding City Hall's potential opposition to the trademark, Hibl said he intends to contact Park City officials shortly about the municipal filing with the Patent and Trademark Office. He said it is likely City Hall is not clear about the intentions of the trademark application. Hibl has said Park City Coffee Roaster filed the trademark application out of concern that Vail Resorts could someday launch a coffee company serving its resorts. Park City Coffee Roaster wanted to guard against Vail Resorts using the company's name.

"They could just be scared, possibly . . . scared of possibly seeing the name 'Park City' trademarked," Hibl said about the City Hall filing, adding, "They probably have questions about what we're trying to accomplish."

A representative of Park City Sport did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.