Despite Skico litigation, Aspen T-shirt stores will keep selling products | AspenTimes.com

Despite Skico litigation, Aspen T-shirt stores will keep selling products

A federal lawsuit filed by Aspen Skiing Co. accuses a combination of five T-shirts shops in Aspen and Snowmass Village of violating trademark laws.

A group of local T-shirt shops will continue selling products with designs bearing an aspen leaf and the proper nouns "Aspen" and "Snowmass," despite Aspen Skiing Co.'s allegations that they are violating trademark law.

Skico took Edwards-based O'Bos Enterprises LLC to federal court in Denver in August, accusing the owner of trademark infringement by selling merchandise with logos similar or "in some cases identical to Skico's trademarked ones," the suit said.

O'Bos Enterprises owns and operates Aspen T-Shirt Co. and Art Tee Gallery on the Hyman Avenue mall and Generation Aspen on East Durant Avenue, as well as Snowmass Trading Co. and Snowmass Trading T-Shirt Co., both of which are in the Snowmass Village Mall. Skico claims all five shops are carrying and selling the products in question.

O'Bos Enterprises was served with the lawsuit Friday, according to court records. A scheduling conference for the case is set for Oct. 30 before Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak.

In the meantime, Robert D. Boselli, manager of O'Bos Enterprises, said in an email to The Aspen Times that the family-owned company will continue selling the merchandise that Skico opposes.

"This summer, O'Bos started using a new and unique graphic design for ornamentation on some T-shirts and other merchandise," O'Bos wrote to the Times on Aug. 30. "The graphic design has an original drawing of an aspen leaf and the names Aspen and Snowmass. O'Bos' graphic design is not identical to any of the trademarks used by Aspen Skiing Company. O'Bos does not believe this design infringes on Aspen Skiing Company's trademark rights and denies the allegations in Aspen Skiing Company's lawsuit."

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Skico is seeking a court order to stop the sale of the merchandise. Its suit also claims it had an agreement with O'Bos to sell certain products with Aspen-Snowmass marks and logos dating back to Nov. 15, 2006. That contract expired, but the stores continue "to sell goods bearing one or more of the Aspen-Snowmass marks without permission," the suit said.

While O'Bos Enterprises has not formally responded to the suit, O'Bos' email said the company has worked well with Skico for more than 30 years and it has "provided free promotional advertising for Aspen Skiing Company all over the world on merchandise sold in their stores based on the prior approved use of Aspen Ski Company trademarks/logo."

The two companies also have a separate agreement that the T-shirt shops will sell off all of its inventory with trademarked Aspen-Snowmass marks by May 31 and pay royalties to Skico. That merchandise is not what Skico contends violates the agreement or trademark law.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com

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