Friday, November 7, 2008

Whoops! Palin’s consignment store shout-out sparks trademark trouble

Yes, I know the election is over, but I live in Alaska where Sarah Palin still makes the nightly news.

At a rally a few weeks ago, Palin made some comments addressing the money she spent on her campaign wardrobe and that she was “back to wearing my own clothes from my favorite consignment shop in Anchorage, Alaska.”

Sounds innocent enough, right? Well, the upscale consignment store, Out of the Closet, garnered some national news attention that has since landed the owner in a bit of legal trouble.

Here’s the story ...

Palin’s “favorite consignment shop” in Anchorage is called Out of the Closet. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (with benefactors including Magic Johnson, Ron Howard and Ellen Degeneres) runs a charitable thrift store chain by the same name in California and Florida.

While the AIDS Healthcare Foundation is grateful to Palin for inadvertently giving their organization national attention, they still don’t like the Anchorage store using their name. 

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation issued this statement:

"We are grateful to Governor Palin for bringing the infringement of AIDS Healthcare Foundation's trademark on our eighteen year-old 'Out of the Closet' name to our attention. In addition to raising funds for the care and treatment of thousands of people with AIDS in the US and around the globe, several AHF 'Out of the Closet' sites also serve as free HIV and STD testing centers. A growing number are now partnered with or placed alongside full service AHF Pharmacy stores, which are open to everyone, but offer clients specific expertise in HIV/AIDS medications.

AHF's 'Out of the Closet' chain and our related services at these sites provide the community a unique opportunity to give back. We value our good name and as such, have sent a 'cease and desist' letter to the independent for-profit resale shop operating under our 'Out of the Closet' name in Alaska....We also invite Governor Palin and the Republican National Committee to give back to the community by donating the Vice Presidential candidate's campaign wardrobe to AIDS Healthcare Foundation's 'Out of the Closet' following the election."

Owner Ellen Arvold will be forced to change the name of the store. Here’s what she told the Los Angeles Times:

"I can't afford to fight them," Arvold said. "I'll have to change the name. So we'll probably call ourselves In and Out of the Closet or something. Back in the Closet?"

Anchorage drama, you gotta love it.

No comments:

Post a Comment