Federal Court: Texas Star Not Copyrighted; Landmark Interest Cleared to Use Symbol
Copyright 2014 by Virgo Publishing.
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Posted on: 10/29/2009



 

A federal court in Houston ruled last month the use of the Texas Star cannot be trademarked, dismissing a case against Landmark Interest Corp.  

The ruling came after Amazing Spaces Inc., a self-storage company, sued Landmark Interest Corp., a self-storage and metal-building general contractor in Baytown, Texas, for building storage facilities decorated with the famous symbol, which depicts a star inside a circle.

In the lawsuit, Amazing Spaces Inc. v. Metro Mini Storage and Landmark Interest Corp., Amazing Spaces claimed it owned a valid trademark to the Texas Star and that Landmark, and other Texans, could not use it. 

Judge Lee Rosenthal, a Federal District Judge in Houston, disagreed. Judge Rosenthal’s order, dated Sept. 28, recognized the Texas Star as “a common symbol long associated with Texas.  A drive on a highway, a walk along a downtown street, or a visit to the shopping center drives home just how common” the star is. 

Because the Texas Star can be found decorating just about every kind of business in Texas, Judge Rosenthal ruled the Texas Star doesn’t qualify for trademark protection and dismissed Amazing Spaces’ lawsuit.

Landmark owner David Boothe is pleased with the judge’s ruling. “We could never understand why we were sued because so many people use the Texas Star to decorate and promote their businesses. I’m just glad to know that Texans are still free to use the Texas Star.” Amazing Spaces is appealing the court’s decision. 

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