Can't we all just get along?
The ASLA reported earlier this week that it had filed a petition requesting a court order for the withdrawal of a claim made by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (WC) at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) of sole ownership of trademark rights for the Sustainable SITES Initiative. The ASLA holds that the trademark rights have been jointly held by all parties involved in the initiative from the get-go, namely the ASLA, the WC and the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG). Earlier this year, the WC filed applications for registration of the trademarks in the name of the University of Texas Board of Regents, while the ASLA claims that assertion is "factually and legally wrong."
SITES holds as its aim "to transform land development and management practices through the nation’s first voluntary guidelines and rating system for sustainable landscapes, with or without buildings." The partnership began in 2005, with an initial version of the system being released n 2009. Version 2.0 is slated for a rollout later this year, meaning that a ruling in the trademark dispute may be crucial for the future of the initiative. For their part, the UT has simply UT has taken the position that it is the sole and exclusive owner of the trademarks.