Iconic 'Portland Oregon' sign at center of trademark spat - KPTV - FOX 12

Iconic 'Portland Oregon' sign at center of trademark spat

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The iconic "Portland Oregon" sign on the Stag building off Burnside has found itself in the middle of a dispute between a local brewery and the city of Portland.

The sign is no stranger to the spotlight. This time around, local beer makers are buzzing about who owns the trademark to the iconic leaping stag on top of the sign.

Old Town Brewing says the city is trying to sell those rights, which they have trademarked, to other companies.

On Sunday afternoon, the brewery held an event at a pub off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to urge folks to contact their city leaders about the issue.

Old Town Brewing says they have the incontestable trademark to the leaping stag when it comes to beer and alcohol.

“That’s where our immediate concern comes in,” the company posted on their Facebook page. “If the leaping deer was to appear on labels of other alcohol brands, it could trick or confuse consumers and that would definitely hurt Old Town Brewing. That’s why trademark protections exist in the first place.”

The city does have the trademark for the sign and stag for everything outside beer and alcohol.

The spat has also garnered the attention of other brewers in Oregon. Rogue’s president, Al Jorgensen, posted a letter to their website saying in part they stand with Old Town Brewing and that some city leaders were not welcome at their Portland outposts.

“We hereby ban City of Portland lawyers, bureaucrats and Mayor Ted Wheeler from our Portland outposts, until this nonsensical dispute propagated by the City is abandoned and a formal apology and explanation are issued. It goes without saying that the dogs of these city employees are still welcome in the Rogue Nation,” Jorgensen wrote. 

FOX 12 has reached out to the city for comment and has not heard back.

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