Posted by Abe Sauer on April 29, 2010 10:34 AM
If a certain group gets its way, the cry of "Remember the Alamo!" may give way to a new Alamo-related call: "Cease and desist!"
The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, a non-profit group, have registered a federal application to trademark "The Alamo." The group, whose members volunteer as tour guides and help maintain the historic monument in San Antonio, claims that since it has operated the Alamo since 1905, it should maintain the rights to the property's mark.
But fret not, Alamo car rental and tissue service brands.
If granted, the trademark would only cover use of The Alamo name by museums or historical sites, forcing such organizations to pay a licensing fee to the Daughters of the Republic.
The great state of Texas may put the brakes on the application, however. Texas is contemplating objecting on the grounds that The Alamo belongs to the state.
The reasoning behind the Daughters' filing is sound and intends to protect the image and brand of The Alamo. The organization's president said, "There are a bunch of people who use the Alamo name, and we're not trying to limit that. ... We're just trying to do some good business practices."
Trademarking a brand of value is indeed a good practice. However, the idea of trademarking The Alamo, a revered historic landmark and a state and national philosophical symbol, is certain to rankle.
While The Alamo location may be about history, the "brand" represents American, and especially Texan, freedom and self-determination. It's easy to see how some could be suspicious of a group claiming ownership of a symbol that is meant to belong to everyone.
Then again, not protecting such symbol is not protecting its meaning for everyone, which risks it being meaningless to anyone.
Maybe state legislators needs a new image campaign: "Don't mess with Texas - or The Alamo." And, heck, we wouldn't want to upset The Duke...