CLINTON — In 2018, Clinton celebrated the 50th anniversary of the widely-popular Apple n’ Pork Festival. Now, thanks to the board of the DeWitt County Museum, the legal rights to the Apple n’ Pork name belong solely to the museum.
“It’s taken months to get this all lined up and work with an attorney,” said museum board member Maureen Collins- Kolb.
Kolb said they had to document that the name always had been used for the festival going back to the first one in 1968.
“…Demonstrating that it was an ongoing festival that we had started and that we had continued to use the name,” she said.
Although the process to establish the trademark with the U.S. Office of Patents and Trademarks has not yet been completed, the board was given the okay to begin designating the Apple n’ Pork Festival name as a trademarked identity.
This right includes Apple n’ Pork Festival officials’ requirement to monitor how others use the Apple n’ Pork Festival name.
“Part of getting a trademark is that you’re obligated to monitor the use of that trademark, which is why I wanted to let everyone in the community know,” Kolb said.
Kolb said the museum board had been conducting strategic planning, including looking at assets ,challenges ahead for the museum and how the Apple n’ Pork Festival fit into that future.
“It’s been such an asset, not just for us and the museum but for the entire community,” she said. “It’s grown beyond just our fundraising opportunity to a big event for the community.”
The Apple n’ Pork Festival is the museum’s largest annual fundraising event.
Kolb said she felt the festival had become vital for the community and the region. The festival attracts between 70,000-100,000 visitors during each of its two days in September.
“We were thinking about what we should do to ensure it remains a successful event,” Kolb said. “Part of it is protecting the event and also ensuring it continues to be a good event for the community.”
Ensuring this success includes making sure that any usage of the Apple n’ Pork Festival name is consistent with the reputation of the festival and museum.
Kolb said the application process is straight forward for vendors who want to make and sell Apple n’ Pork Festival tee-shirts or other products and conform to the trademark requirements. They must enter a licensing agreement with the museum.
In documenting the festival for the trademark application, the board had to provide details about the festival, including its historical connection to the museum and community and details about the events arts, crafts and other aspects of the festival.
The trademark includes various configurations of the festival name, such as the official form, Apple n’ Pork Festival, as well as Apple and Pork Festival and Apple & Pork Festival.
“Anything that a reasonable person would interpret as the name of the festival held in Clinton,” Kolb said.