- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 27, 2007

BEDFORD, N.Y. (AP) — Some of Martha Stewart’s Westchester County neighbors are trying to block her efforts to trademark the name of their tony hometown, Katonah.

The Katonah Village Improvement Society voted yesterday to take whatever action it deems necessary to keep Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia from using the Katonah name for lines of furniture, paints and other homemaking products.

The society’s vote allows the trademark committee to file formal opposition to Mrs. Stewart’s plans, and it authorizes spending $200 toward legal costs.

“My personal feeling is that they are just waiting to see if we have the stomach to proceed to any degree [with opposition],” Bill Tisherman, vice president of the improvement society, said at its Monday night meeting. “If we don’t proceed, then we lose … there’s nobody else who’s going to oppose it.”

Katonah has until April 11 to oppose Mrs. Stewart’s plans at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Mrs. Stewart, 65, lived in Westport, Conn., for more than 30 years before she bought an estate in Katonah in 2000 for $16 million.

She told the village in January that she was inspired by her 153-acre estate, which consists of a farmhouse and stables, to trademark the Katonah name for a line of products.

John Cuti, an attorney for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, has said that Mrs. Stewart’s use of the Katonah name won’t keep residents from using the name. He said it was quite common for place names to be used in trademarks, such as Nantucket Nectars or Philadelphia brand cream cheese.

Ron Romanowicz, president of the Katonah Chamber of Commerce, said village business owners are concerned about whether they will be able to use the hamlet name for their product lines if Mrs. Stewart owns the trademark.

Katonah is about 40 miles from midtown Manhattan. The Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. said the average house price there was $912,000 in 2006.

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