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SURF CITY -Update Downtown Huntington Beach

The lawsuit over the “Surf City USA” trademark that has sparked a major rivalry between Huntington Beach and Santa Cruz over the title may soon be settled.

The Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau and a surf shop owner in Santa Cruz have been negotiating a settlement for six weeks and have kicked their talks into high gear over the last week, bureau President Doug Traub said.

Traub said he could not discuss the terms of the offers and counter-offers, adding that any settlement would be confidential. But speaking generally, he described his priorities for any settlement as security for the trademark.

“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.

Published Monday, October 08, 2007 5:25 PM by Brian Liberto
Attachment(s): HB2.jpg

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About Brian Liberto

Brian Liberto represents the coast’s finest properties with an exceptional skill for innovative technology..He has a clear understanding of the mindset of luxury home buyers and sellers and undoubtedly meets their expectations. For sellers, today’s technology allows us to reach millions of qualified prospective buyers and sellers world-wide in real time. Nearly 87% of home buyers initiate their home search on the internet. We utlize technology via Facebook, Twitter, Zillow, Realtytrac, and Utube to sell your home today. We turn Browers into Buyers ! Our commitment: provide our clientele with the best in real estate representation & marketing services. Whether buying or selling, we strive to make the entire experience rewarding by exceeding your expectations & providing an extraordinary result