August 2019

Kelly McCarthy comments in “What did Yosemite get for the $12 million paid to its former concessionaire?” for the San Francisco Chronicle


Yosemite National Park recently settled one of the nation’s oddest intellectual property disputes, teaming up with the company that manages the park’s hotels and restaurants to pay the former operator for trademarks the company notoriously claimed were its own.

Turns out, Yosemite got a lot more in the $12 million deal than a few famous place names in the park, like Ahwahnee and Curry Village.

According to newly released legal documents, the global hospitality company Delaware North handed over more than 30 park-related names, designs and logos that it had quietly registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when it operated Yosemite’s visitor facilities…

“It seems like a fairly run-of-the-mill settlement agreement,” said Kelly McCarthy, a partner at San Francisco law firm Sideman and Bancroft who specializes in intellectual property. “It was clear that the parties wanted to be done with this unpleasantness.”