U.S. Patent Office: No Exclusivity on Horse Capital Claim

U.S. Patent Office: No Exclusivity on Horse Capital Claim
City of Lexington, Ky. has promoted itself as the 'Horse Capital of the World.'
The director of public affairs for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said in a May 13 statement published in the Lexington Herald-Leader that the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association does not have "exclusive right" to the phrase "Horse Capital of the World."

Richard Maulsby made the statement in response to a Herald-Leader article, though The Blood-Horse and other publications reported similar information. Maulsby said a statement made earlier this spring by a patent office spokeswoman was not accurate.

"The term 'Horse Capital of the World' is considered laudatory, similar to such phrases as 'the best' or 'the greatest,' " Maulsby said. "Laudatory terms--those which make a claim of superiority or trade puffery--are considered merely descriptive and cannot be registered on the Principal Register, except in limited circumstances."

Maulsby said the FTBOA does own a trademark registration for "Ocala/ Marion County Horse Capital of the World." Lexington has been using the phrase "Horse Capital of the World" on signs and promotional materials for some time.

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