Hollister, Calif., Is At Odds With Abercrombie Over Name
Professor Mark A. Lemley is quoted in the Los Angeles Times in an article about whether Abercrombie & Fitch can trademark the name of the town Hollister for its line of clothing.
The controversy over the name heated up in 2006 when Stacey Crummett, chief executive of Hollister-based Rag City Blues, added the word "Hollister" to the label of her vintage bluejeans. In response to her trademark application, Abercrombie & Fitch attorneys sent her a letter alleging she was violating the company's trademark and threatening to sue.
Still, Hollister City Atty. Stephanie Atigh insists that Abercrombie & Fitch cannot sue if locals are simply putting the town name on clothes to identify the geographic location."
"There is no way you can trademark Hollister, Calif.," she said. "It's a geographical place:"
Mark Lemley, a law professor at Stanford University who specializes in intellectual property rights, agrees.
"If all you are doing is identifying your city's name on your shirt, you are not engaged in trademark use," he said.