ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here
Archive

Eye On Boise

Turkish ag group wants to use ‘IDAHO’ as its trademark, lawmakers object

Believe it or not, an ag group in Turkey has applied to the Turkish Patent Institute to trademark the word “IDAHO” for its agricultural, plant and animal products – and the Idaho Potato Commission doesn’t take too kindly to that idea. Neither did the Senate Agriculture Committee, which this morning not only introduced a resolution proposed by the Potato Commission, but put it on a fast track to the full Senate, which is scheduled to suspend its rules and take up the measure this morning.

“If that office grants them that authority to use IDAHO as their trademark, they can both sell and market products both in Turkey and internationally using the Idaho name,” said Sen. Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, Senate Ag chairman. “I guess we take exception to that. This is not intended to poke our finger into Turkey’s eye, but they need to understand that we treasure the Idaho name.” If others can use it on their products, he said, “We lose the ability to regulate the quality of Idaho’s products.”

The Turkish agency has a public comment period on the application open through Feb. 12; that’s why the Senate resolution is being rushed through. “We need to get it done so the governor can get a letter drafted,” Bair said. The Potato Commission already has hired a Turkish attorney and she’s provided advice on how to proceed.

Bair, a retired potato farmer, said, “I really feel bad, because … I think we have a great relationship with Turkey. We do a bit of trade with them. This is not intended to damage that.” But, he said, “We need to protect our intellectual property. If anybody on the face of the earth has done a good job with trademarks, it’s the Potato Commission with ‘Famous Potatoes.’”

The resolution urges the governor to “review the matter and take all necessary steps to oppose the application,” and also directs that an official copy of the approved resolution “be distributed to the Republican of Turkey, the Turkish Patent Institute and the congressional delegation representing the State of Idaho in the Congress of the United States.”


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Eye On Boise

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Eye On Boise.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here