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Get Outta Town, Main Street Group Tells USA

HONOLULU (CN) - A nonprofit on Maui sued the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States, challenging the trust's claim that it owns the trademark to "Main Street," and can order the Wailuku Main Street Association to stop using it.

In its federal complaint, the Wailuku Main Street Association says it was formed in 1986 to promote civic, economic and cultural activities, and has been a dues-paying member of the defendant organization since 1989.

The state of Hawai'i's Main Street Council authorized it to be a resource center for Maui County in 1990, and the defendant knows it, the group says. What's more, Wailuku has had a Main Street for more than a century.

Nonetheless, the defendant "has recently asserted that it has the exclusive right to the used of 'Main Street' by virtue of defendant's registrations of the mark Main Street with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office," the complaint states.

The National Trust has warned Wailuku Main Street "that it must 'immediately remove "Main Street" from its name and cease and desist from all use of "Main Street" in connection with commercial district revitalization activities,'" according to the complaint.

Wailuku Main Street says the defendant's demand is absurd.

It points out, inter alia, that "'Main Street' is an actual geographic location," that the defendant has been accepting its dues for 25 years, and knew all along there is and was a real Main Street in Wailuku, and that Wailuku's Main Street precedes the existence of the defendant organization.

Wailuku Main Street seeks declaratory judgment, an injunction and costs. It is represented by Paul Maki.

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