by Mike Masnick
Tue, Jun 9th 2009 1:48am
A bunch of folks have been sending in various versions of this story about how the Idaho Potato Commission owns the trademark on the use of the word "Idaho" in conjunction with any potato products, and has forced The Idaho Fry Company to change its name. Lawyers pointed out that The Idaho Fry Company could fight back -- and likely win -- but that it was a lot more costly than just changing its name, so the owners went with the latter option and caved in to the Idaho Potato Commission. The Potato Commission explained "we have to protect the name." Of course, the spokesperson left out the fact that you can't hold a trademark on a descriptive phrase -- and it would seem like Idaho being used to accurate name the state in which something was made is descriptive.
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