CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo went to court on Friday over one of its biggest annual attractions, the Asian Lantern Festival.
The Metroparks filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Cleveland to prevent the Pittsburgh Zoo from using the same name and similar marketing material for an event they are planning later this summer. We are looking for an injunction and an injunction.
The Asian Lantern Festival is taking place in Cleveland for the fourth time. Despite the pandemic, it drew more than 165,000 visitors last year and generated $ 2.6 million in revenue, according to the lawsuit.
Metroparks fear the same name of two exhibits in cities so close will confuse and mislead customers, as the lawsuit has brought visitors to Cleveland from across Ohio and western Pennsylvania for the event.
The Metroparks found that customers might mistakenly believe that the Pittsburgh event was the same as or related to the Metroparks exhibit.
The Cleveland exhibit begins July 14th and lasts through September 5th. Apart from the opening night, the event takes place Thursday through Sunday. It will have 70 illuminated displays and 1,000 individual lanterns.
Pittsburgh’s opening event will take place August 14 through October 30, Thursday through Sunday.
Carrie Shufflebarger, a metroparks attorney, declined to comment. Ian Hunter, a Pittsburgh Zoo spokesman, said the zoo’s attorneys deny the trademark infringement claims.
The lawsuit states that the Metroparks invented the name Asian Lantern Festival in the spring of 2018. Before the adoption, the Metroparks “performed due diligence to ensure that the name was not used elsewhere,” according to the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, officials at Pittsburgh Zoo began using the Asian Lantern Festival without metroparks’ approval.
On June 22, the metroparks became aware of the actions of the Pittsburgh Zoo. Days later, Cleveland officials requested that the Pittsburgh Zoo rename its event.
The metroparks later asked the Pittsburgh Zoo to stop using the Asian Lantern Festival brand name. The Pittsburgh Zoo didn’t agree to stop the event, but it will consider renaming the event next year, according to the lawsuit.
“The Asian Lantern Festival has become a staple of the summer in Cleveland and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo,” said Jeff Tolman, a metroparks spokesman. “Cleveland Metroparks wants to protect our event and the reputation and success we have achieved over the years.”
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Asian Lantern Festival opened to the public on July 8, 2020 and runs Wednesday through Sunday evening through September 5.
It’s about the use of the name ‘Asian Lantern Festival’