Beneath the thousands of twinkling Christmas lights on display at the Oklahoma City retailer North Pole City, a turf war is brewing with greeting card giant Hallmark Cards.
The Oklahoma City seasonal store, which sells Christmas ornaments and holiday collectibles, filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit on Monday against Hallmark over the use of the name North Pole City.
The retailer filed the lawsuit after it learned of Hallmark's plans to use the North Pole City name on its merchandise, store owner David Green said in a statement released through his attorney Tuesday.
“Hallmark has been well aware that North Pole City has utilized the ‘North Pole City' phrase or name for some time,” Green said. “We are still hopeful that we can resolve this dispute informally with Hallmark.”
In its lawsuit, the retailer claims that Kansas City-based Hallmark is planning to roll out a new line of holiday products branded with the name North Pole City — all without the Oklahoma City business's permission.
“Without North Pole City's permission, defendants have indicated their intent to launch products and franchise development for Holiday 2014 around a fictional city called North Pole City,” the Oklahoma City Christmas retailer claims in its lawsuit.
Hallmark also has sought trademarks for the name “North Pole City,” the lawsuit claims.
Records show that Hallmark applied with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in June to register the trademark North Pole City.
Hallmark has plans to use the North Pole City name on a “series of fictional books, stationery, greeting cards, gift wrapping paper,” as well as “cookie decoration devices, serving plates and cheese spreaders, according its application filed with the Patent and Trademark Office.
Hallmark has been well aware that North Pole City has utilized the ‘North Pole City' phrase or name for some time. We are still hopeful that we can resolve this dispute informally with Hallmark.”
North Pole City owner