For many, the name Pendleton tends to stir up images of the Wild West. But that name, and the associations that come with it are now the subject of a trademark dispute between two well established Oregon entities.
The Pendleton Round-Up is one of the most famous rodeos anywhere. And in the heat of the summer a visitor can experience a variety of smells.
But according to Randy Thomas publicity director for the Pendleton Round-Up Association, there’s only one “official fragrance” of the rodeo and that’s the Let’er Buck Cologne released last year in conjunction with the event’s 100th anniversary.
Randy Thomas: “They have the packaging on there that says “spray responsibly.” And I think that’s good advice for anybody that wants to apply the Let’er Buck Cologne, that they spray responsibly, cause the response could be overwhelming.”
Now the use of the name Pendleton on that cologne is prompting a legal response from Pendleton Woolen Mills, the Portland-based blanket and clothing maker.
Cheryl Engstrom is a spokeswoman for Pendleton Woolen Mills. She says the company has a relationship with the Pendleton Round-Up that goes back more than a hundred years.
Cheryl Engstrom: “Trademark protection laws are complex. A disagreement over the last 6 months unfortunately could not be resolved in a conventional manner. We’re not able to comment further while these legal issues are pending.”
This week the company filed a complaint in US district court alleging the Pendleton Round-Up Association engaged in Trademark infringement. Court filings show the company reserves trademark protections for a wide range of items spanning from oven mitts to barbeque sauce to shaving bags and dog apparel.
Round-Up spokesman Randy Thomas says he believes the complaint is in response to a trademark the association filed for the cologne this past year. He says it’s unfortunate that Pendleton Woolen Mills has decided to litigate the matter in court.
Randy Thomas: “We’re confident that we should have the right to use our own name Pendleton Round-Up on products and for promotions that would support our event.”
In its complaint, Pendleton Woolen Mills seeks a jury trial and requests unspecified damages.