- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 26, 2006

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — Huntington Beach is taking its rivalry with Santa Cruz over the title of “Surf City USA” out of the ocean and into the hands of lawyers, trademarking the name and chasing down businesses that infringe on it.

The Southern California town, which boasts a surfing museum and a hall of fame, announced in May that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had awarded it exclusive use of the title. Now it is enforcing its rights, sending cease-and-desist letters to anyone wading into its waters.

One of its first targets, the Santa Cruz beachwear shop Noland’s on the Wharf, has been selling bathing suits and beach hats for nearly a half-century. The shop has been warned it has until Friday to stop selling a T-shirt sporting the words “Santa Cruz” and “Surf City.” Sales of the shirt have since skyrocketed, selling out and leading to a waiting list with nearly 300 names.

The Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau spearheaded the move to trademark the moniker, and has developed a marketing effort that includes a logo and franchise deals to put the image on beach cruisers, furniture and even a “Surf City” credit card.

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