US state, Turkish company battle over 'Idaho' trademark
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Idaho is known as an important agricultural state, producing nearly one-third of the potatoes grown in the United States. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALLTurkish agriculture company’s application to the Turkish Patent Institute to trademark the word “Idaho” for use on its products draws objections from the senate of the U.S. state of Idaho, whose economy is largely based on agricultural businesses. The Turkish company says the application is no for a final product but seeds.
“We used to be in the potato business, but we have terminated potato production as of 2012. We applied to use the ‘Idaho’ name for another seed product that we import from abroad,” Oğuz Kılınç, the general manager of Beta Agriculture and Trade Company, told the Hürriyet Daily News on the phone on Feb. 1.
The Idaho State Senate passed a resolution proposed by the Idaho Potato Commission and is on its way to fast-tracking a process to formally object to the trademark application within the Turkish Patent Institute’s public comment period, which ends Feb. 12, Boise-based Idaho Statesman newspaper reported on is
The Idaho Potato Commission, an agency of the State of Idaho that makes promoting and regulating the quality of the state’s spud its business, has also hired a Turkish attorney to put a stop to the trademark process, according to.
Kılınç said that the misunderstanding might have been aroused because the Turkish Patent Institute doesn’t have separate classifications for different type of seeds, possibly prompting the Idaho potato producers’ fear of the “Idaho” name being used by another company. “The Potato Commission has reached us and expressed their concerns before and we have told them as well that we’re applying for another product. I didn’t know that this would be a legal controversy.”
An Idaho senator claimed Idahoans treasure their state name and warned that a trademark of the name by the Turkish Patent Institute for a company’s products would see products not regulated by the state of Idaho sold internationally under the Idaho name.
The state needs to have solid proof that the usage of the “Idaho” name by the Turkish company would damage the value of the name and/or cause financial losses in order to succeed in an objection, an expert lawyer on patent issues has said.
Idaho, a state in the northwestern region of the United States, has gone by the moniker since it was officially declared the 43rd state in 1890.
Idaho is known as an important agricultural state, producing nearly one-third of the potatoes grown in the United States. Statewide, the crop is valued at between $550 million and $700 million per year, according to Idaho Farm Bureau Federation reports. The manufacturing of french fries utilizes 60% of production.