Trademark

Trademark

The Grange is a nonprofit organization that uses commercial activities to support our civic and member service activities. For this reason, our founders saw the need to protect our name and overall brand. In 1876, Grange leaders filed for and received trademark protection for the name GRANGE.

Today, we stand by our members and their goals in their hometowns by vigorously defending our trademarks that have now grown to include our National Grange logo, as well as the Junior Grange and Grange Youth logos, NATIONAL GRANGE, NATIONAL GRANGE OF THE ORDER OF PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY and THE GRANGE FOUNDATION.

Businesses that wish to use the name Grange have found success in our licensing model. From daycare centers to restaurants to prepared food vendors, we have many licensees throughout the United States. Licensees enjoy the benefits of our established national reputation while providing excellent products and services to their communities.

To learn more about trademark laws, our trademark specifically and our licensing process, please read our Trademark Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you wish to find out more about our trademark and our licensing process, contact our Trademark Protection Manager Leroy Watson by email at leroyawatson@nationalgrange.org.


Our Trademark since 1876

National Grange is the owner of the U.S. Trademark Registrations for a variety of GRANGE Trademarks including GRANGE (U.S. Registration No. 1,872,429), NATIONAL GRANGE (U.S. Registration No. 1,817,984), NATIONAL GRANGE OF THE ORDER OF PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY (U.S. Registration No. 1,816,827), and the Grange Logo (U.S. Registration No. 1,824,368), and has been using its GRANGE mark since 1876 in connection with a  variety of goods and service. National Grange has local, county and state locations throughout the United States.


2011 Trademark Report

This year saw important milestones in efforts to protect our Grange trademarks. We saw a shift in the infringement activities we encountered. Instead of defending against major corporations trying to gain control of our trademarks, in 2011, most of our activities were focused on attempts by smaller businesses to use our trademarks without permission.

Financially, this was another challenging year for our trademark program. Resources that could have been used for other priorities were used to defend our trademarks. We continued to control costs by shifting responsibilities for trademark protection “in house”, under the guidance and supervision of our trademark attorney.

Our results, however, for the money we have spent is impressive for any trademark management program. Over the past four years, we have cleared and won more that 50 trademark infringement cases, or an average of more than one per month. This is a staggering number considering the number of legal notices we have had to prepare, legal responses we reviewed and negotiations that took place. The composition of our cases is also shifting from corporate trademark registrations, which are more expensive, to unintentional small business infringements, which consume time but don’t use as many resources. So while the financial results don’t show as much progress as we had hoped, the future trend is toward more cost effective handling of trademark infringement cases.

Unfortunately this year we had to take the last resort step to protect our trademark by filing a Federal suit for monetary damages and injunction. A New York City based, for profit, agribusiness, calling itself Brooklyn Grange Farm LLC has been using our trademark GRANGE since early 2010. Brooklyn Grange sells produce, eggs and apiary products at the wholesale and retail level in the New York City. We asked Brooklyn Grange to obtain a cost efficient license. In the alternative, we asked them to cease using National Grange trademarks. Instead of negotiating in good faith, Brooklyn Grange expanded their business to include prepared meal service and all-you-can drink alcohol sales to consumers. Our complaint calls on the Federal judge to immediately rule in our favor and issue an injunction to require that Brooklyn Grange cease using National Grange trademarks, to turn over all advertising materials with GRANGE trademarks to us and fully reimburse the National Grange for all attorney fees and court costs. Filing a lawsuit is always our last resort. We take no joy in endangering a viable business that employs people and provides goods and services to their community. But make no mistake, National Grange trademarks are owned for the benefit and use of our members and local Grange chapters who utilize those trademarks to build on our 145 year old reputation of service to U.S. agriculture and rural communities. We will continue to vigorously defend our trademark rights using all resources at our disposal.

One of our strategies to avoid this situation in the future is to increase our trademark registrations to include sub-registrations for various areas of commerce where we have clear and convincing evidence of both historical and contemporary use of the name GRANGE and our GRANGE LOGO. This year our applications for trademark sub-registration of GRANGE and the GRANGE LOGO were approved for the cookbooks, farmers markets, catering and food-related services, fairs and exhibition facilities, community meeting and social function facilities, and wine making and viniculture services. These new sub-registrations were added to our existing inventory of trademark sub-registrations for affinity credit cards and restaurants as well as posters, publications, newsletters, brochures, pamphlets and other publications. Our sub-registrations for clothing and for jewelry are still pending. We will continue to explore additional sub-registrations to put potential infringers on notice that the general trademark GRANGE and our GRANGE LOGO are widely used in commerce in the United States.

We also decided to set aside the pursuit of federal legislation to give us enhanced enforcement authority to protect our trademarks against corporations because our infringement challenges shifted from large corporations to small businesses. The number of corporate trademark registration cases we are contesting at the U.S. Trademark Office has declined from 13 last year to 3 this year. A legislative solution would be less effective against small business infringements. Suspending our trademark legislation goals was also a way to control our legal expenses. Fortunately this decision does not preclude us from pursuing legislation in the future, if the situation changes.

As we move forward, the most encouraging part of this work is “brand management.” Brand management refers to additional ways to generate new ideas and partnerships to market goods and services under the brand name GRANGE that will contribute to growth and development of the Order. This year we had more positive discussions with potential licensees than any time in the past. We are seeing good, viable commercial ideas to market new goods and services under the brand name GRANGE by entrepreneurs who want to work with us. Some of these entrepreneurs have ambitions to reach regional, statewide and even national markets while others are focused on serving their community. We should facilitate these entrepreneurial activities as much as possible while maintaining ownership and control of our intellectual property. Prudent management of the brand GRANGE will eventually provide additional sources of revenue to the Grange at all levels and will increase the recognition of our volunteer community service and non-partisan legislative activities as well.

Unfortunately, three “legacy” Grange companies either ceased operation or merged and changed their name this year. Grange Nursing Home in IL and the PA State Grange Credit Union both merged into larger organizations this year. The PA State Grange Service Company decided to terminate operations this year. These companies have faithfully offered commercial and financial services to members and non-members for many years. In the future goal I hope to reach out to other surviving legacy Grange companies. We should provide assistance and guidance to both new entrepreneurs who are seeking to use the name GRANGE as well as established companies that have been operating under the brand GRANGE for some time.

As we strive to create an effective program to manage our most valuable, our good name, Grange members can look forward to using the lessons we have learned in trademark management to promote the growth and development of our Order.

Leroy Watson,
National Grange Trademark Protection Manager

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