September 2015

“Who Owns Yosemite? Concessionaire Claims Trademark on Famed Sites”


Beneath the tranquil facade of Yosemite’s sun-splashed hills and canyons, an ugly spat simmers over the names of some of the park’s most notable sights.

The company that has long run the lodges, restaurants and visitor attractions at Yosemite National Park, but lost the high-dollar contract this spring, claims that such famous monikers as Badger Pass, Curry Village and the Ahwahnee Hotel — and, yes, even the name Yosemite — belong to it as valuable intellectual property.

In a lawsuit filed last week, Delaware North of Buffalo, N.Y., accuses the National Park Service of breach of contract. The company alleges that park officials were required to force the incoming concessionaire to pay Delaware North for its landmark names, as it claims to have done when it took over, but officials never did.