Saturday, May 9, 2009

How a senator blocked a Nevada businessman from trade marking the phrase "Last Best Place."

Baucus inserted language in the fiscal year 2009 Omnibus appropriation bill that would prohibit the slogan "Last Best Place," which is an unofficial motto of Montana, from being trademarked.
"Trying to trademark "The Last Best Place" is as ludicrous as someone trying to patent a Montana sunset," Baucus said. "If I have to insert this provision for the next 20 years, I will because that is how important this saying is to our state."
He and the businessman have slugged out over the trademark since 2002, when Nevada businessman David Lipson tried to gain exclusive rights to the term for his Paw's Up lodge in the Blackfoot Valley. Baucus' provision would prohibit using any funds to approve the trade mark, effectively killing any chance of the slogan being trademarked. Baucus has included similar provisions in past appropriations bills.
"When you walk down a main street in any Montana town, or have a good conversation at a coffee shop, you know Montana truly is "The Last Best Place," Baucus said. "And folks should be free to use that to describe our great state."
Senator Jon Tester supported Baucus' measure. "As a third generation Montana farmer, I know that folks in our state treasure our status as The Last Best Place," said Tester. "Montana's slogan isn't for sale."