The Real Deal New York

For nearly 25 years, Donald Trump has owned Central Park’s trademark

Still, that may not mean very much

December 06, 2015 12:26PM

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Amazingly, it seems that Donald Trump owns the trademark for Central Park. But legal experts say that the name is owned by every New Yorker.

Trump first trademarked Manhattan’s iconic park back in 1991, and shockingly no one seems to have objected, according to CBS News. Neither the city, nor the Central Park Conservancy seem to have stood in Trump’s way. However, there may be a very good reason for that.

“It’s a messy situation,” trademark litigation specialist Jason Drangel told Quartz. “Anybody can go register a trademark, but just because you register it doesn’t mean you have the right to it.”

But the city was even more firm, saying:

“Nobody has ownership of the words ‘Central Park.’ It is a public space, with a city-owned logo,” Monica Klein, the deputy press secretary at the mayor’s press office, told CBS MoneyWatch. “When individuals or companies attempt to infringe on city-owned trademarks, we take appropriate legal actions.”

In other words, signage for the park — the leaf logo — has been trademarked by the city, but all businesses are free to use the names of public places. So, whether you are a clothing manufacturer or a real estate developer, the words “Central Park” are up for grabs. [CBS]Christopher Cameron