Remember, The Alamo Is Trademarked Now
There are two old sayings about the Lonestar State—"Remember the Alamo," and "Don't mess with Texas." Companies hoping to do the former by including an image of the Alamo should be careful, however, lest they mess with Texas and its new trademark of the Alamo. After a federal judge ruled that the state of Texas owns the image of the landmark, brands hoping to use it in advertising or promotions may have to work with the state first. Also, Texas is set to use this new trademark to sell Alamo branded products by the hundreds.
A court order signed by Chief U.S. District Judge Fred Biery has already restricted two Texas breweries, Alamo Beer and Texian Brewing companies, from using the Alamo image, which the Texas General Land Office claimed infringed on its trademark. In order to use the image, Alamo Beer has had to pay a licensing fee.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the controversy began when Alamo Beer claimed Texian infringed on Alamo's trademark by using an "outline of the Alamo" on its products and advertisements. This current court order, which went into effect in April, permanently enjoins and restrains Alamo and Texian from using "any other mark or name confusingly similar" to the image trademarked by Texas.
The court order shows that the State of Texas, via the General Land Office, owns the premises of the Alamo in San Antonio, the image of the Alamo and the right to use that image for commercial reasons including licensing the use of the image. It also has the rights to use "The Alamo" and the image of the landmark as trademarks on products sold at its gift shops and through an online store.
With the trademark, the state plans to use the Alamo image for a host of promotional items, including lollipops, barbecue sauce, hats, aprons, sweaters, wallets, and more, according to WOAI News Radio.
As for other events and products that incorporate the Alamo, such as the Valero Alamo Bowl (college football game), they may still be able to operate under the same name, as the Land Office has not made a decision on how strictly it will enforce its newly acquired Alamo trademarks.
The court order also lists potential products that would include the trademarked Alamo brand.