Vail Resorts appeals trademark suit |

Vail Resorts appeals trademark suit

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Vail Resorts Inc. is asking an appeals court to revive its trademark lawsuit against a market­ing operation that uses the words “ski Vail” in its toll- free phone num­ber.

The company sued in 2005 over Vend-Tel-Co. Ltd.’s registered service mark on the use of “1-800-SKI-VAIL,” a phone number that offers market­ing services in the Vail area.

Vail Resorts argued that using “ski Vail” confuses consumers who would conclude they were contacting the resort, not another company.

A federal judge in Denver ruled that Vail Resorts failed to prove consumers were confused and called the trademark infringement claim “very weak.”

Earlier this month, a panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling in a split decision.

“The ordinary consumer sees Vail is a place to ski, i.e., as a ski destination, without associating it with any par­ticular entity or service provider,” the panel court wrote. Vail Resorts filed papers Thursday asking the 10th Circuit to rehear the lawsuit.

“The word ‘ Vail’ may be capable of many connota­tions, but in the field of skiing in or around Vail, Col­orado, it is world- renowned as an identifier of services and emanating from a single source: plaintiffs,” Vail Resorts attorney Glenn Beaton wrote.

Beaton argued the complaint isn’t about Vail as a geographic location but that Vend-Tel- Co.’s use “ski Vail” infringes on the resort’s trademark.

Based in the Denver suburb of Broomfield, Vail Resorts owns and operates the Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone and Breckenridge ski areas in Colorado, Heavenly in Nevada and California, and lodges in and around Jackson, Wyo.

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