A new proposal moving through Congress would help preserve Route 66 as a cultural landmark, and it could help one New Mexico business in a legal battle.
After being sued by a European company that has a trademark on the Route 66 name, Henry Lackey, the owner of Route 66 Junkyard Brewery in Grants, has hope the proposed legislation could help his fight.
“As Americans we share it. As Americans we didn’t see that we wanted to stop somebody else from using it. We wanted to share it,” Lackey said.
Last year, KRQE News 13 told you about Lackey’s legal battle with Lodestar Anstalt, a European company that brews a Route 66 ale in Wisconsin, which Route 66 does not pass through.
Yet, the European company apparently owns the Route 66 trademark for any beverage-related product, leaving Lackey and his business, which actually sits along Route 66, in a bind.
However, hope came last week when Senator Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, introduced federal legislation to designate Route 66 as a national historic trail.
Although the act doesn’t specify how it would handle trademarks, Sen. Udall said in a statement that he wants the bipartisan legislation to help small businesses along the mother road.
Lackey hopes that means reviewing and analyzing trademarks granted with the Route 66 name.
“If it prevents anybody else from getting trademarks on this American icon that would be great,” Lackey said. “I am optimistic that we can win this lawsuit.”
Lackey says even if it doesn’t help his legal battle, he hopes it will help future business owners wanting to use the Route 66 name.