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Trademark Battle: Much Ado About The ‘The’ in Virginia

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Inside The Barns of Wolf Trap by theregeneration on Flickr

Inside The Barns of Wolf Trap by theregeneration on Flickr

The former The Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, Virginia, which runs an amphitheater and cultural center, has agreed to drop the “the” in its name in response to a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Vienna, Virginia’s The Barns of Wolf Trap. (I know: it’s catchy.)

Back in December, the Barns of Wolf Trap sued (the then) The Barns of Rose Hill claiming infringement of the trademarked phrase “The Barns.” The former alleged that the latter used the phrase “The Barns” in its name to confuse consumers into believing the new project was associated with the established one.

According to the Washington Post‘s The State of NoVa blog:

The Barns of Rose Hill opened last September, nearly 50 years after a Clarke County farmer donated the land and two dairy barns to the town of Berryville. The community eventually raised $2.4 million to renovate the barns and turn them into a nonprofit cultural center, and shortly thereafter, Wolf Trap sent Rose Hill a letter telling it to change its name.

Although Wolf Trap did sue Rose Hill, the two The Barnses managed to reach a settlement in which Barns of Rose Hill would drop the “the” and also eliminate “Northern Virginia” from its advertising, instead calling itself “A Cultural Center for the Shenandoah Valley.”

The takeaway: Don’t ever let anyone tell you that articles don’t matter.

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February 2nd, 2012 at 5:21 am