2016-10-13 / Letters

No one should have exclusive right to use, market M-22

To the editor:

I have been following, with great interest, the story concerning the ownership of the M-22 trademark.

On the surface, it seems like a small thing. The brothers have made money by marketing items bearing the M-22 logo. Now they want more.

In my opinion, the state was gracious in allowing the brothers to pursue their original venture with M-22. The state has now drawn the line, hopefully with strong backing from the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

M-22, and all other Michigan road designations, belongs to the state. The state created it, the state owns it. No individual should be able to gain exclusive trademark rights to those designations.

The prime example of this is a current lawsuit between The Delaware North Company, and the National Park Service.

Delaware North, the company that had operated the hotels and other concessions in Yosemite National Park for many years, recently lost the bid to continue that operation. Delaware North sued the NPS claiming the bidding process was unfair. In the course of the lawsuit, it was revealed that Delaware North had trademarked many of the names of the properties it had managed — names of places that had existed long before Delaware North, and are iconic to Yosemite. Names that rightfully belong to the NPS, and Yosemite National Park in particular. Delaware North is insisting that the NPS pay them to use those historic and iconic names! Because of this, the names that have been associated with places within the park since the park began are being changed to avoid this legal blackmail of the NPS.

Apparently, this is becoming the case in Michigan with regard to M-22 and other signage.

Please, legislators and courts, nip this in the bud before it gets any worse!

Kathleen Lockwood
W 30th St
Speedway, Ind.

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