The Netherlands based company route66licensing.com, an affiliate of Tempting Brands of the Netherlands, is seeking to prohibit U.S. based entrepreneurs from marketing Route 66 themed products in Europe and China. They have asserted trademark infringement on a popular web based marketing site called zazzle.com. They are asserting ownership of the Route 66 shield, the words Route 66, and in some cases the phrase "The Mother Road." This has resulted in the removal of a number of products from the web site zazzle placed on the site by U.S. marketers.
The Route 66 shield image, the phrase Route 66, and the words Mother Road are irrefutably in the public domain as documented on this web site. The shield image and the highway designation have been in the public domain since 1927 and 1926 respectively.
However, Tempting Brands has been successful in registering three trademarks in the United States related to Route 66. Tempting Brands also claims trademarks in foreign countries.
For more info on these trademark registrations in the U.S. and foreign countries by Tempting Brands.
Our coalition has been organized to confront route66licensing.com and Tempting Brands and to enjoin them from asserting infringement claims for products based on the public domain images and words associated with Route 66.
Here are the items we are working on and items where we need your input.
The coalition asserts that the United States federal highway system Route 66 shield image was created and introduced into the public domain in 1926. The words "Route 66" and "Mother Road" are likewise to be regarded as in the public domain. Reference material is available elsewhere on this site documenting the public domain origin of Route 66 icons.
Artists and entrepreneurs who create unique works of art inspired by Route 66 are entitled to copyright and trademark their individual works.
A company named Tempting Brands and their affiliate route66licensing.com has in the past initiated infringement claims against entrepreneurs who incorporate Route 66 icons into commercial products.
The coalition acknowledges route66licensing.com's right to market their own line of Route 66 related products and to license those unique products. We suggest that route66licensing.com make clear on their web site that Route 66 iconography is in the public domain and that licensing is required only for their specific line of products.
We have been working on web site upgrades during the Spring of 2013 to make the site more user friendly and robust.
This site was initiated in April of 2010 to support the public domain use of the Route 66 shield and the words "Route 66" world wide. This initiative arose out of a campaign in April of 2010 by route66licensing.com to claim trademark rights to the Route 66 shield image and the words "Route 66" and their infringement claims against U.S. based artists, designers and entrepreneurs.
We have not been notified of any new infringement claims since the end of April 2010. We remain on standby to support artists and entrepreneurs who wish to incorporate Route 66 themes in their work.
The coalition is a volunteer organization comprised of artists, designers, writers, historians, entrepreneurs, and supporters distributed worldwide.
Our organization was formed in May, 2010 and are united via this web site. We welcome new members and content contributions. Our objective is to ensure that Route 66 icons remain in the public domain and will confront any effort to limit the use of Route 66 public domain items.
This web site is not currently seeking funding in that we are a self-sustaining volunteer organization.