Logo design by: Milton Glaser

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Brand Battles
By Kirstin Dorsch
Published in the Businessweek.com: July 1, 2005

New York Loves Its Trademark

I New York officials show no mercy in their bid to protect the "I ♥ New York" logo. The trademark, supplied free of charge by graphic designer Milton Glaser in 1976, helps beckon 140 million tourists to the Empire State each year. As others tried to tap the design over the years, state legal eagles have filed close to 3,000 trademark objections.

Apparel company 4 KAMM International is incensed at New York's pending effort to halt the use of "I ♥ SF, Las Vegas, and Paris on everything from bumper stickers to calendars. Last year, New York shut down "I ♥ Yoga" T-shirts produced by a Florida Bikram yoga outfit. And in October, the U.S. Trademark & Patent Office is expected to hear a case filed by Michael Stewart, a clothing designer in Raleigh, N.C., challenging New York's opposition to "I ♥ NC."

Lawyers say Stewart's case is stronger than most because of coloring differences and a change in the heart's look. New York says this is about protecting a logo, not upping licensing fees, which totaled $900,000 in the past five years. "We aren't in the business of taking apologies," says Jonathan Faber, a lawyer at Collins, McDonald & Gann, which represents the state.