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Thursday, October 6, 2011

The 1,101 Trademarks of San Francisco

Posted By on Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 1:30 PM

click to enlarge Out at the plate, Giants...
  • Out at the plate, Giants...

Earlier this week, we reported on the San Francisco Giants' summer of discontent carrying over into a fiasco at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The team was barred from trademarking the script "San Francisco" logo featured on Giants jackets and an armada of other team memorabilia since 1993. Per the government, the script San Francisco text is "virtually identical" to a logo trademarked earlier this year by Gogo Sports, a clothing company specializing in tourist paraphernalia. 

Why the giants waited 18 years to -- unsuccessfully -- attempt to trademark their logo remains a mystery. The case will work its way through the federal courts and USPTO. But it does provide an interesting line of inquiry. How many "San Francisco" trademarks are there?

Your answer:

One thousand, one hundred and one.

If you're going to amass 1,101 trademarks, there are going to be some goofy ones. On page one, no less. That's where you find "Save Me, San Francisco" trademarked by the so-bad-it's-evil band Train. And you know what's even worse? Train has trademarked "Save Me, San Francisco" for use on "Alcoholic beverages, namely, wine." Horrible. Let us move on.

Other trademarks of note:

The American Ginseng Museum -- San Francisco. We called their phone number -- no answer, no machine, no nothing. Apparently you can't convert ginseng into voicemail. 

"I Left My Heart in San Francisco": This phrase belongs not to Tony Bennett, nor George Cory and Douglas Cross, who actually wrote the song. No, it's the property of the San Francisco Travel Association, which hopes to subtly flog the line on "Clothing, namely, t-shirts, jackets, coats, pullovers, sweaters, sweatshirts, fleece clothing, hooded fleece sweatshirts, pants, sweatpants, shorts, bathing suits, bandanas, kerchiefs, scarves, hats, caps, knit hats, footwear, socks, stockings, and underwear." Yeah, that's pretty much it.

San Francisco Seals -- the moniker of the city's defunct Pacific Coast League baseball team is now owned by the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. Good luck to them. Sadly they cannot bring back the wonder of taking in a ballgame in a packed stadium at 16th and Bryant. That must have been glorious.

Only in San Francisco: The much-uttered phrase is actually the trademark of the city's convention and visitors bureau. Does that mean we owe them money when we involuntarily utter the first words that come to mind when we see a bearded man wearing a dress and roller skates, vomiting on Willie Brown's shoes?

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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