Today, a federal district court denied a motion by La Quinta Arts Foundation (LQAF) seeking to enjoin the city of La Quinta (City) from using “La Quinta Art Celebration” to promote its event. A trial on the matter is scheduled later this year.
The action was taken in direct response to a lawsuit filed by the City to cancel the La Quinta Arts Festival trademark (LQAF Mark) in use for thirty-seven consecutive years. LQAF’s district court action sought to guard against liability for LQAF as well as to protect consumers from confusion.
Concurrently, an administrative hearing with the United Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to consider the City’s twice denied, and third attempt to trademark La Quinta Art Celebration, and cancel the LQAF Mark is also pending later this year or early next year.
LQAF remains confident that, upon consideration of the full evidence, the Federal District Court and the USPTO will determine to uphold the LQAF Mark. LQAF is committed to vigorously defend its LQAF Mark and intellectual property against any and all challenges.
About La Quinta Arts Foundation
La Quinta Arts Foundation (LQAF), a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit organization, was founded in 1982 “to promote and cultivate the arts.”
LQAF launched the La Quinta Arts Festival in 1983. During the decades that followed, La Quinta Arts Festival tallied $57 million in art sales, supporting the livelihood of thousands of artists and providing over $1.3 million scholarships to local college students. Recognized many times for its success, the La Quinta Arts Festival has been named the number one fine art festival in the nation.
- Since 1983, LQAF has continuously used the La Quinta Arts Festival Mark in connection with its community art events and activities, and intends to continue its use.
- In June 2019, LQAF notified the City that it would not hold a 2020 La Quinta Arts Festival on City property, advising of its intention to work toward development of new programming and collaborations with the City on future arts and culture initiatives.
- In August 2019, the City sought to register multiple names for trademark protection, including La Quinta Signature Art Event and La Quinta Art Celebration.
- On November 20, 2019 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Examining Attorney issued an order against the city’s applications for registration, citing the LQAF Mark used in association with art festivals as a bar to registration of the City’s proposed marks.
- In spite of the denial by the USPTO, the City used the unregistered and infringing marks to promote its own event scheduled and eventually held in March 2020.
- In May 2020, the City returned to the USPTO, this time to appeal the 2019 denial of the City’s request to register its “La Quinta Art Celebration” mark. For the second time, in December 2020 the City’s request was denied, its file closed and their mark registration application abandoned.
- In February 2021, the City returned to the USPTO for the third time. This time seeking to cancel the LQAF Mark entirely.
- In March 2021, LQAF filed an action in United States District Court seeking to enjoin the city from continued infringement on the LQAF Mark.