Orlando close to getting trademark for "City Beautiful"
By Risa Polansky
Orlando's application to federally trademark longtime slogan The City Beautiful is in the initial stages of approval, leaving Coral Gables, which also uses the name, about a month to negotiate shared usage before a formal objection period begins.
Coral Gables, which has called itself The City Beautiful since the 1930s, also was seeking the trademark but applied almost two months after Orlando filed its application.
The cities, officials say, will work together for shared use of the name.
"We're now negotiating a joint-use agreement so everybody wins," said David Brown, Coral Gables city manager.
City attorney Elizabeth Hernandez said lodging an official objection is Plan B.
"The cities are working to get the benefit of the usage of the names," she said in an e-mail. "Unless we come to agreement, we will object to each other's applications. I know we are all working toward resolution of this matter."
Attorney David Rogero, handling the process for Coral Gables, said representatives of both cities will begin negotiations soon for concurrent use of the slogan. They have until Feb. 6, when Orlando's trademark is scheduled for publication, to reach an agreement. If they don't, Coral Gables will file either an extension to continue discussion — the most likely course, Mr. Rogero said — or an objection.
"Our goal is basically to be able to continue just as we have," he said.
Orlando officials, who trace the city's usage of the phrase to about a century ago, say the same.
"It was never our intention to prevent other cities from using The City Beautiful, as a number of other cities are currently using it," said Orlando City Attorney Jody Litchford in an e-mail. "The city was recently contacted by Coral Gables, and details have not been finalized. But again, we are happy to discuss their usage of The City Beautiful and work out an arrangement."
Joint use of the slogan has been the aim of officials of both cities since they began the trademark process last summer.
"It's not our intention to prohibit others from using it," Gables Mayor Donald Slesnick said in July. "It's not like us, not our goal at all. It's the name we have for ourselves, and we'd like to protect it.
"It would be good to make sure no one could take this away from us or hold us hostage for it," he said. "It's practically our second name."