If I light a match and then yell “Fire” in a crowded movie theater, would I “misrepresent the facts of the case to the public”? That would create a “public outcry” just like the NPS did.

In this thread, no one has posted what the Feds stated other than, “'DNCY’s parent company has apparently embarked on a business model whereby it collects trademarks to the names of iconic property owned by the United States,' Justice Department attorney John H. Robertson wrote. The parent company, Buffalo, N.Y.-based Delaware North, also has a concession at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and 'has a trademark application for the name ‘Space Shuttle Atlantis,’ ' Robertson pointedly noted.” Those statements are disingenuous at best.

1. The NPS in 1993 required DNCY, as the new concessionaire at Yosemite, to purchase the assets of the previous concessionaire, including its intellectual property. That included trademarked names such as The Ahwahnee, which was privately constructed, financed and owned when the concessionaire contract for Yosemite was being bid and then won by DNCY. In turn, the DNCY contract requires the NPS to have the new concessionaire buy all of DNCY's property, including its intellectual property. The NPS reaffirmed this in a December 29, 2015 letter from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

2. DNCY offered to license the trademarks, free of any charge, to allow NPS or the new concessionaire at Yosemite to use the trademarks and avoid any name changes or impact on the park visitor experience while the dispute is being settled by the courts.

I am a lawyer and can see the damages to DNCY if their case is proved. Many of the statements on this thread are indicative of those damages:

“Please boycott Delaware North”

“What jerks.”

“Hopefully a judge tells them to take a long walk on a short corporate pier”

“Disgusting, greedy pigs.”

“You can also get a list of the other concessions that Delaware North runs, so that you can boycott them or make their lives less pleasant. We've done that, too.”

"This is a predatory business practice at taxpayer's potential considerable expense. Full stop."

“This is simple theft from US citizens, not dissimilar to what Y'all Qaeda is trying to pull in rural Oregon at the moment.”

An article by Kevin Drum of Mother Jones (not exactly a big fan of big corporations) gives some gloss to this controversy:

I wrote a post yesterday about a New York company that claims it owns the trademark to various locations at Yosemite National Park. Based on the story I read, this seemed obviously outrageous, and that was the tone I took.

But that was probably wrong. I ended up looking into this issue a little more deeply, and it turns out that the whole thing goes back several years and is actually a fairly pedestrian contract dispute.


It turns out there's nothing inherently outrageous about Delaware North owning some of these trademarks, as even the Park Service admits.

Edited by ndsol (01/29/16 09:09 AM)