Restaurant Trademarks Bozo; Bozo The Clown Unhappy
MASON, Tenn. (AP) _ Bozo the Clown isn’t laughing about a restaurant’s attempt to obtain a trademark on his name, which he says ″will carry on long after I go to that circus in the sky.″
″Who are these people in Mason, Tennessee, to tell me how famous they are?″ asked Larry Harmon, who created Bozo the Clown.
He was angry about a decision that gives a rural western Tennessee restaurant the right to use his name on franchises from coast to coast.
Bozo’s restaurant, which serves pork barbecue, is based in the town of Mason, population 471.
Restaurant owner Jeff Thompson of Memphis has no plans to branch out or franchise, but decided to protect the right to use the name by filing for a national trademark in 1982, said assistant manager Dot Cottam.
″There are no plans at the present, but in the future, who knows?″ Cottam said.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decided the restaurant, a local fixture since 1923, attracts enough out-of-state customers to trademark its name nationally.
″The whole world has recognized the greatness and love of Bozo,″ Harmon said Thursday from his New York City office. ″Don’t I have the right to protect what’s mine?″
″Bozo has been my life,″ he said. ″It is my life. It will carry on long after I go to that circus in the sky.″
His lawyers have appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington.