Xanterra Parks & Resorts Abandoning Efforts To Trademark Business Names On South Rim Of Grand Canyon National Park
Xanterra Parks & Resorts has dropped most, if not all, of its applications to trademark the names of lodgings and other concessions on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
According to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records, the concessionaire early this week "abandoned" its applications to trademark "Phantom Ranch," "Thunderbird Lodge," "Desert View Watchtower," "Kachina Lodge," "Yavapai Lodge," "Maswik Lodge," "Trailer Village," and "Hopi House."
While the records also indicate that Xanterra filed paperwork to abandon trademark applications for "El Tovar," "Hermit's Rest," "Arizona Room," and "Red Horse Cabin," the Patent and Trademark Office website indicated Friday that those applications were still "live."
Calls and emails to Xanterra's attorney on record for the applications, and to the company's offices, were not immediately returned Friday evening.
Xanterra filed the trademark applications late last fall, when it was at odds with the National Park Service over a long-term concessions contract for the South Rim.
The Denver-based concessionaire last October announced its intent to sue the Park Service over its concessions contract. That same month it filed an application to trademark the name "El Tovar," which is attached to the famous hotel on the South Rim of the canyon. Within two weeks of that application, Xanterra made similar applications to trademark the names of many other commercial businesses on, and below, the South Rim.
Xanterra's actions came after Delaware North Co., through its Yosemite subsidiary,notified the Park Service last summer that it had placed a $51 million valuation on intellectual property it held in Yosemite, including trademarks on such properties as The Ahwahnee Hotel, Curry Village, and the Wawona Hotel.
In January, the Park Service notified Xanterra by letter that it "considers the marks in use by Xanterra as property of the Service protected pursuant to common trademark law rights. The Service asserted it has exclusively and continuously controlled the marks, and in particular retains control of the nature and quality of provided goods and services through operation of concessions contracts with providers of goods and services such as Xanterra.
"The Service further claimed Xanterra's use of the claimed marks is solely by virtue of concessions contracts through which the Service ultimately controls the nature and quality of the provided goods and services."
The Park Service in that January 12 letter also asked the concessionaire to abandon its bid to obtain the trademarks.
However, efforts by concessionaires to capitalize on the names of such iconic lodges as The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park and the El Tovar Hotel might actually be mootunder a section of the U.S. Code. That provision, Section 302106, specifically gives the National Park Service the right to "retain the name historically associated with the building or structure" regardless of any trademark. That language is contained within H.R.1068, which became law in mid-December.
Sec. 302106. Retention of nameNotwithstanding section 43(c) of the Act of July 5, 1946 (known as the Trademark Act of 1946) (15 U.S.C. 1125(c)), buildings and structures on or eligible for inclusion on the National Register (either individually or as part of a historic district), or designated as an individual landmark or as a contributing building in a historic district by a unit of State or local government, may retain the name historically associated with the building or structure.
At Grand Canyon, buildings already listed on the National Register of Historic Places include the El Tovar Hotel, the Grand Canyon Village Historic District (which includes the El Tovar as well as the Bright Angel Lodge, the Buckey O'Neill Cabin, Lookout Studio, Hopi House, the Kolb Brothers Studio, the Grand Canyon Depot, and the Grand Canyon Railway), the Desert View Watchtower Historic District, and the Hermit's Rest concession building.