Brandchannel reports that it cost $65 million each year to keep New York’s Central Park running—a lot of money that nonprofit Central Park Conservancy has to come up with each year.
NY1 reports that the Conservancy has been losing out on millions of dollars each year from products that have taken the Central Park name without handing over any funds to the organization.
This was uncovered when the Conservancy actually made a deal with an Italian perfume-maker to create “Essence of Central Park.” The $140-bottle of perfume was taken off the market after a few weeks when another perfume company using the Central Park name sued the Italian company. Then it became clear that there were a number of business that have trademarked Central Park’s name without any input from the Conservancy.
Royal Caribbean cruises has a mini Central Park on some of its ships. Other brands using the name include women’s clothing line Central Park West and investment firm Central Park Financial. It’s all perfectly legal, though the Conservancy could have found a way to make money from such branding.
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“The city could have had more extensive trademark rights if they had done things right from the beginning,” Jason Drangel, an intellectual property attorney, told New York One. “You’ve sat on your rights, you haven’t enforced them and based on that, you can’t turn around all of a sudden because you see everybody else licensing brands and trying to make money off of it, and say ‘Oh I want to do that.’ You can’t and that’s the problem.”
The Italian company that made “Essence of Central Park” is now selling a new fragrance, in the exact same bottle, called simply “Essence of the Park,” reports New York One. No mention of New York’s iconic greenspace, which now will see no money from its sale.
Looks like Central Park Conservancy will have to sell a lot of t-shirts, coffee mugs, snow globes, ornaments and hand-embroidered pillows to make up the difference.