A Trademark Grows in Katonah

"There are no franchise businesses in town. … To have a corporation come in and put our name on the shelves of Macy's and Wal-Mart seems a little invasive. … We've really been hearing that people are concerned, people are saying, 'Don't let them do this to us.'"

According to Lynne Beresford, commissioner of trademarks at the U.S. patent office, the courts will have to decide what will become of the name Katonah.

But when it comes to the legality of trademarks that use the name of a place, she said, "part of it has to do with whether the mark is descriptive." That is to say, does the name Katonah describe the place where the company is located or where the furniture is produced?

"Generally, [a trademark] is more likely to have more problems if the product is not actually from there and has the name," she said.

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