Feb 3rd, 2014
RE: Response to January 28th, 2014 Correspondence
Dear Red Flannel Festival board,
I have received your letter dated January 28th, 2014 and it has been reviewed by our board members and to which we have prepared this 2 part response.
It is the Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce’s position that the true identity and rightful owner of “The Red Flannel Town” is the community of Cedar Springs and has been since as early as 1938 many decades prior to the formation of Red Flannel Festival Inc. and certainly before any trade or service mark request could have been filed by them. Further, it is our position that when the request was filed to register “The Red Flannel Town” by the Red Flannel Festival Inc. that said application misrepresented to the licensing agency that their organization was its originating body and rightful owner. The Red Flannel Festival Inc.’s application for the service mark submitted to the State of Michigan on June 3, 2005 states that “The Red Flannel Town” was first used in commerce in Michigan on October 1, 1950. However, the CSACOC has obtained a copy of official Village of Cedar Springs Regular Meeting Of Village Council minutes dated December 1941 where “The Red Flannel Town” is clearly used in the title line as part of the Village’s identity. The CSACOC has also obtained photo evidence from “Life” archives of photos taken in 1942 depicting the use of “The Red Flannel Town” in commerce and on Village entry way signs.
The Red Flannel festival Inc. is a very important and essential part of Cedar Springs but the organization is exactly that, a part of the much larger community known now and forever as “The Red Flannel Town” and has no right to claim exclusive ownership of that identity.
The CSACOC would also like to make it clear that the title for the Christmas event ‘A Red Flannel Town Christmas, Come Mingle with Kris Kringle’ was so titled to accomplish two goals. These goals were to inform people where the event was, ‘Red Flannel Town’, and that Santa Claus would be there. It was never our intent to offend the Red Flannel Festival Inc. The CSACOC did register the event titles with the State of Michigan and only used the titles that were granted to us. While this is the official position of the CSACOC we would like to avoid legal action if at all possible and work with the Red Flannel Festival Inc.’s Board to resolve this matter. It has been stated by members of the Red Flannel Festival board that they want us to submit a request to their board for approval. In the interest of a quick resolution and to demonstrate our willingness to work with the Red Flannel Festival Board the CSACOC Board would like to submit the following request for their board’s consideration.
The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce would like to respectfully request that The Red Flannel Festival Inc. grant permission for all organizations, businesses, government agencies and private citizens to use the term “The Red Flannel Town” to positively promote, preserve and identify the Cedar Springs area as “The Red Flannel Town” with the understanding that no other business or organization shall claim or represent that they are exclusively “The Red Flannel Town” just that they are from, part of or promoting the community as such.
After attending the Red Flannel Festival Inc.’s Board meeting last Thursday, January 30 it is our understanding that submitting the above request will eliminate the possibility of legal action and that the Red Flannel Festival Inc.’s board will make a decision on this request collectively and respond. The CSACOC hopes that this matter can be resolved as soon as possible so that both organizations can put our efforts and energy back to our intended missions which are quite similar and could only be better accomplished but the CSACOC and the RFF working hand in hand toward them. We anxiously await your response and look forward to a long, prosperous and most of all positive working relationship going forward.