Despite hurdles, city still wants to trademark 'Portland, Oregon' sign

The city of Portland owns the physical sign and the trademarks for the white stag in certain categories. (KATU Photo)

The city of Portland is still determined to trademark the iconic “Portland, Oregon” sign in the category of beer, wine, and alcohol.

A KATU story Wednesday detailed the controversy.

Old Town Pizza & Brewing has the trademark for the white stag seen on the sign, and it uses it on its beer. But the city wants to license the image to national beer companies and it thinks there's room for that.

“As long as they're just using their stag, we don't have a problem with that,” said Bryant Enge, the director of Portland Bureau of Internal Business Services, on Thursday. “In fact, we recognize their ability to use and license the stag. What we're saying is that the city wants the ability to use and be able to license the entire Portland, Oregon sign.”

Old Town Pizza & Brewing owner Adam Milne told KATU Thursday night that his understanding of trademark law is that city names and state outlines can’t be trademarked. When those two things are taken from the sign, all that is left is the white stag.

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