Pike Place Market Throws Lawsuit at Famed Fish Merchant – Eater Seattle

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Heads up, you’re about to read the words “Pike Place” a lot, because an argument about who has the rights to those words has become a legal dispute.

According to a Seattle Times story, the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA for short) has sued the Pike Place Fish Market, one of the market’s most famous vendors, for using the term “Pike Place” in non-market contexts, which the PDA says amounts to trademark infringement.

The dispute centers around Pike Place Fish Market’s non-market enterprises, including a warehouse it uses to accommodate its mail-order business and pre-packaged smoked salmon sold at QFC grocery stores. The Times explains:

In their lease agreements with the PDA, market vendors agree not use PDA trademarks in relation to commercial premises or operations of any kind outside the Market Historical District without prior written permission of the PDA, according to the PDA’s lawsuit.

But Pike Place Fish Market (which is famous for its tourist-delighting fish throws) says that it has trademarked “Pike Place Fish Market” and has used the phrase on its merch and products without the PDA complaining. The two sides have agreed to mediation that will occur in October, and both sides have said they want to avoid an actual court fight. The dispute is “nothing personal,” a Pike Place Fish Market co-owner told the Times.

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