Anyone who is familiar with our events knows that we are no strangers to cease-and-desist letters. Despite blogging and tweeting about us from the official Star Wars accounts, Lucasfilm sent us a cease-and-desist letter earlier this year and we eventually settled out of court. No more using the word "lightsaber" for us!
One of the things we love about putting on these events is we get to learn so much about new places from the people who live there. We meet fellow event organizers, volunteers and participants who love sharing their cities with us. Last week we learned something fun about Seattle: The Space Needle is trademarked! That's right, you are not allowed to depict the Space Needle on anything except an "unaltered landscape photo" where the Space Needle is not the most prominent image. This was a problem because of the following shirt graphic:
Here's part of the letter:
I am writing because of your company’s prominent use of depictions of the Space Needle in connection with its clothing products. The Space Needle has been privately owned and operated since its construction in 1962. It is not now and has never been public property. SNLLC provides a wide range of services and products at the Space Needle for visitors and Puget Sound area residents. The words, SPACE NEEDLE, as well as depictions of the Space Needle are federally registered as trademarks for a wide variety of goods and services, including clothing.
I will give them credit for being nice about it, though. They wrote: "At this point, we suspect your use of depictions of the Space Needle was done innocently." Very true. The purpose of our events is to celebrate the places we live, work and play, and coming from Canada, there is no way we could have known that the Space Needle was trademarked. Our own "big pointy tower" in Toronto, the CN Tower, is public property.
Oh well! Please check out our new shirt graphic, Emerald City Moon. Enjoy!