U.S. Patent Office: No Exclusivity on Horse Capital Claim
Date Posted: 5/13/2002 3:11:34 PM
Last Updated: 5/14/2002 9:17:19 AM

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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