Yosemite agrees to change the names of its significant locations to appease trademark troll

[Read the post]

1 Like

Wouldn’t it be easy to just file a motion to invalidate the trademarks?


Isn’t there something along the lines of prior art that can come into play?


How the hell can you trademark the name of a place that existed decades before your company did? I can’t even


Not to mention that the trademarks they have on places they no longer serve should immediately be genericized.

This is my problem with copyright and trademarks - presenting an honest, truthful depiction or using a real name for something should not be violations of either. If the location is Yosemite and they have a lodge there, then Yosemite Lodge isn’t a name, it’s an accurate description of the building.

This is as stupid as Hollister the company suing people in Hollister, California for trademark violation when they make shirts that say Hollister on them, accurately portraying where the t-shirts are sold from.


Are you fucking kidding me?

This whole thing is patently ridiculous in the worst of all possible ways, but guess I take their attempt to take possession of Atlantis more personally, because I watched her launch in person as a kid and it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever witnessed.


This is the result of our National Parks being continually underfunded, and more recently, being pushed into the “You must make money to exist”, aka Cory’s cult of fiduciary duty. Spend $2.7 billion on two blimps that don’t work and occasionally break their moorings to drift across the US Northeast? Alrighty!
Actually fund, to the limits promised, the storied and much vaunted National Park system? Nah.

If the godamn business can’t take over the park entirely, then, like politics, they’ll worm their way in and eat it from the inside out. yay capitalism.

Hey Congress:


This bothers me on a deep level, but one also has to note the irony here: that the federal government appropriated a bunch of native Californian names, only to have those names appropriated away from them in this current era of privatization.


I kind of agree with your sentiment but I don’t necessarily agree that the location names were appropriated, especially for a national park. Would you prefer native words or have them name all those places using english words or named after western people?


I tend to believe that if it’s a natural monument that already had a name then we should default to the name indigenous people used (like how the Australian government now officially refers to that big rock as “Uluru” instead of “Ayers Rock”). When it’s a hotel? I guess I’d at least want to hear the descendants of the original natives weigh in on the name.


Weigh in on the name of the HOTEL? I am all for renaming, say, Denali, or Uluru, as the native populations had names for those. But the hotel was built by some randos, no? My heart bleeds, it does, but not this much.

This is the end result of capitalism–everything that can be appropriated and exploited MUST be appropriated and exploited. It’s grotesque that this company is doing this, and I know some slathering maniacs steeped in Friedman will rush to the defense of this noble and creative pursuit of more lucre.


hotel chains love this sort of thing


Well, the history of the Ahwahnee isn’t exactly like a Motel 6. Sez Wikipedia:

The name originally selected for the new hotel was “Yosemite All-Year-Round Hotel”, but Tresidder changed it just prior to opening to reflect the site’s native name.

So it seems to be in a gray area somewhere between “honoring the original native name for the location” and “capitalist exploitation of Native American heritage.”

Either way, it’s insane for these clowns to claim ownership of the name since the site and the name of the hotel both predate the company by centuries and decades, respectively.


which is to say: honoring the original native name for the location, all the way to the bank…

I’m not trying to argue that this is any more egregious example of native appropriation than the usual, just pointing out that the ledger of ownership for these particular words has a few earlier pages in it that ought not be entirely overlooked.

FWIW I think in most cases it’s perfectly reasonable to name a hotel according to the name of the place where it’s built. (Similarly, “Yosemite Lodge” seems like a no brainer for a Lodge built in Yosemite Valley).

But nobody should be allowed to trademark said names.


OK, at the on-set of Yosemite becoming a National Park you had John Muir and Ansel Adams running around in the background. Its not quite “Lets build Disneyland!”

That happened about 15-25 years ago when the funding dried up from Congress and the NPS became a for profit institution.


Nope, that’s patent law… thanks for playing!

Sure, a cancellation petition before the TTAB can be filed… but on what grounds?

Okay… I’ll go tin foil hat on you: I think it has more to do with politicians who granted these requests in exchange for payola into their re-elections campaigns, or other slush fund accounts, they can cash in when they are no longer “electable”.

1 Like

Yes, in that case it was more the other way around (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel is largely a scaled-up copy of the Ahwahnee).

1 Like