House Bill Would Block ‘Last Best Place’ Trademark

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Republican U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg says the House Appropriations Committee has passed a measure to keep the phrase “The Last Best Place” from being trademarked.

Rehberg says he included language in the House Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill. Democratic Sen. Max Baucus included identical language in the Senate funding bill in mid-June.

The trademark battles dates to 2002, when Las Vegas businessman David Lipson tried to gain exclusive rights to the term for his Resort at Paws Up in the Blackfoot Valley, as well as other businesses.

The language in the bill prohibits the U.S. Department of Commerce from spending funds to approve a trademark. Each request is effective for only a year because it is tied to the department’s budget.

“The Last Best Place” is a well-known Montana slogan first popularized as the title of a 1988 anthology co-edited by Missoula writers William Kittredge and Annick Smith.

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