It looks like Idaho is the victor in an international trademark dispute over its most famous product. Officials in Turkey blocked a move that would have allowed a Turkish company to stamp “IDAHO” on produce, including potatoes.
For the keepers of the Idaho brand name, it's a crisis averted.
According to records on the Turkish Patent Institute's website, the agency has rejected an application to trademark the word “IDAHO”. Idaho Gov. Butch Otter also received a letter from the Turkish ambassador saying as much.
The Turkish company Beta Ziraat incited the wrath of the Idaho Potato Commission last month after it tried to claim exclusive rights to use of the name “IDAHO” in Turkey. Beta Ziraat said it didn't intend to market potatoes under the name. But the state of Idaho worried the trademark would hurt real Idaho growers selling their products in Turkey – and ultimately pose a threat to Idaho's closely guarded label.
According to the Turkish government, those objections won out.
Beta Ziraat has two months to appeal the decision. But in the meantime, Idaho potato authorities aren't taking any chances. They've filed for a trademark in Turkey on the phrase “Famous Idaho Potatoes.”
On the Web:
Idaho Potato Commission - official site