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House opposes Turkish firm’s move to ‘pilfer’ the name ‘IDAHO’ for its ag products

The Idaho House has loudly and unanimously endorsed SCR 102, the resolution objecting to a Turkish firm’s application to trademark the word “IDAHO” for its agricultural products in its country and abroad, after House Ag Chairman Ken Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, told the House the foreign firm wants to “pilfer that and use it to themselves for their financial gain.”

Rep. Phylis King, D-Boise, asked, “Why do they want to do that?” Andrus responded that he understands that initially, Beta Agriculture and Trade Co. wants to use the “IDAHO” name on its sugar beet seeds. “But if they can get this patent … it would not be limited to sugar beet seed, it would be any product,” Andrus said. “I assume their purpose is because they realize the prominence and the significance of that label, IDAHO, and realize that it means something to people around the world.”

Rep. Dell Raybould, R-Rexburg, said, “The name IDAHO is trademarked – it is a trademark of the Idaho Potato Commission. … Our trademark is legal within the United States, but other countries throughout the world, if they want to infringe on our reputation, they’re trying to do that. We have a good association with Canada, with Mexico, and other countries here in the Americas, but this is the first time that anyone in a foreign country has tried to infringe on this trademark of the Idaho Potato Commission.”

The resolution, which has now unanimously passed both houses, will be part of the state’s formal response objecting to the Turkish patent application, to be filed with the Turkish Patent Institute.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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