“There has to be no danger whatsoever that anyone can infringe upon the trademark of our city,” he said. “Beyond that, the rest is negotiable.”
The owners of Shoreline Surf Shop and Noland’s On the Wharf sued the visitors bureau last October after receiving a cease-and-desist order to stop selling shirts reading “Surf City Santa Cruz California USA.” They contend that they had the right to produce the shirts and have challenged the bureau’s right to the trademark in this situation.
Lawyer Anthony Malutta, one of the attorneys representing the Santa Cruz retailers, declined comment on the issue, saying he couldn’t speak on it at this time.
Traub said he was eager for a settlement, calling the lawsuit an unwelcome distraction at a time his bureau was trying to roll out the trademark to a greater audience.
“You’re talking about a bureau that only has four full-time employees,” he said. “That obviously has taken some time we really didn’t want to spend this year to address a federal lawsuit. We had to produce thousands of pages of evidence, and scan them for our lawyers.”
Instead, he said, he would rather focus on the numerous new marketing partnerships and licensing agreements signed in the last year.
If a settlement is not signed now, there is still more time to negotiate before it could go to trial next year.