"What's in a name?" wrote Shakespeare. If the playwright was residing in Huntington Beach today, a few lawyers would let him know, that's almost for sure — thanks to a battle over a slogan and a small T-shirt shop.
Maybe you're aware of the lawsuit being stoked like fire-pit embers on a midnight beach; a line in the sand drawn between our own Huntington Beach and an upstart from the north, Santa Cruz.
Some background: In 2004, Doug Traub, president of the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau, filed 12 trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office giving Huntington Beach exclusive rights to promote itself as Surf City USA. Traub's plan also included the creation of a boatload of Surf City USA branded goods and services, like clothing, bicycles, financial services and volleyballs. At the time Traub said, "This is quite a moment for us when you consider the amount of research we have done with thousands of people and the subsequent efforts we have taken over the past few years to bring the Surf City USA brand to market. Our investment has helped us create a monumental lifestyle brand that complements and solidifies our emerging status as the premier overnight beach destination on the West Coast."