You name it

Dear Editor:
Read the recent article about the Supreme Court argument re: trademark registration.

I wanted to shed some light on the prosecution of TM applications in the U.S. 

I am registered to practice in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 

I began the practice as an intern in the Patent Dept. of Remington Rand Univac in 1957 in Philadelphia. I was also employed by Honeywell, Offshore Systems Inc., RCA and North American Rockwell. In 1988/89 I opened my own office in Orange. More recently, I have participated mostly in trademark practice. One of my early TM clients was Etnies (skateboard market). I have no idea of its volume of business -- but it was huge when I resigned as its outside trademark counsel.

I do not recall any litigation regarding TM. Any disputes were settled as favorably as possible.

On several occasions, I recommended that a client NOT pursue a TM registration battle with the PTO because the outcome of the battle would not likely be cost effective. In the case described in your article, I wonder how much $$$$ the client has invested in this battle. The current law clearly requires the PTO examiner to refuse registration for the reasons cited. Normally, I would predict that the Supreme Court would not even accept the petition for review, as the existing law is so strongly embedded. My concern is that in the vindictive legal and similar arenas, the court might just throw a monkey wrench into the works.

There are other non-technical or trademark limited issues which I submit should require a rejection of the verdict which the appellant seeks.

Don Weber
Villa Park

Time will tell

Dear Editor:    
Orange Unified School District has the legal and moral responsibility to open a public comment period before relisting the Lydia D. Killefer School, the first desegregated school, on the market as surplus property. Located on North Lemon St. in Orange, the school was sold by OUSD in 2015 to a private developer without public notification of the school’s important civil rights significance. The public, therefore, was unable to provide informed input on this matter. While the buyer recently backed out, the school and its valuable 1.7-acre Old Towne Orange parcel is still in danger of being purchased by other private developers. 

Built in 1931, the Killefer School is a National Landmark, registered with the National Parks Service. A fine example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, it is significant for being the first voluntarily desegregated school in California, and possibly the nation. Desegregated in 1944, ten years before mandatory desegregation was implemented (Brown v. Board of Education), the Killefer School was a leader in the civil rights movement.

As a National Landmark, the schoolhouse cannot be bulldozed. However, the property is not protected from being developed. OUSD holds this building in the public trust and must be held responsible for finding an appropriate buyer for this landmark.

Started on Facebook as a grassroots movement, Preserve the First Desegregated School group has no agenda other than to preserve the building in a manner that honors its civil rights history. We welcome any support.

Jerome Ryan

Sounds of silence

Dear Editor:
April 24 was International Noise Awareness Day, co-sponsored by Noise Free America: a Coalition to Promote Quiet. It was a day to reflect on the impacts of noise and determine how we can preserve natural silence for everyone’s benefit.

When was the last time you heard leaves dancing in a delicate breeze, birds singing to each other, or water flowing over rocks in a nearby creek? When was the last time you felt the relief of a relaxed heartbeat and calm breath? These experiences are basic human necessities that are disappearing from our hectic lives.  

Instead, we are bombarded by a variety of such unhealthy noises as mechanized landscape equipment, busy roads, amplified music, vehicles with illegally modified mufflers and street sweepers, which significantly impact our ability to function.

Excessive noise causes sleep deprivation, hearing loss, tinnitus, heart disease, cognitive impairment, decreased productivity, stress, exhaustion and aggravated behavior.

The noise from a gas-powered leaf blower (up to 92 decibels) can be heard from half a mile away. Exposure to 80 to 92 decibels of noise for two hours can cause hearing damage. Leaf blower noise is especially irritating because of its pitch, the changing amplitude, and the hearer’s lack of control. Gas-powered leaf blowers spread animal droppings, herbicides and pesticides into the air. They create as much tailpipe emissions in one hour as a car does over 350 miles. The EPA estimates that gas-powered lawn equipment contributes five percent of the nation’s ozone-harming pollutants.

The City of Orange has an opportunity to collaborate with residents in an effort to preserve natural silence by exploring alternatives, regulating sources of noise pollution and mitigating for the most severe impacts.  Please help us to create a quiet, peaceful and pleasant place to live. Thank you for the consideration.

Joel Robinson

Had enough

Dear Editor:
I am a resident of Hidden Creek. I am strongly opposed to the proposed Trails at Santiago development because it violates three specific plans: the East Orange General Plan, the OPA Specific Plan and the Santiago Greenbelt Plan.

I am concerned about the negative impacts of this proposed development.

Traffic:  Excessive traffic at Santiago Canyon Road and Cannon Street is negatively affecting our quality of life. We can’t get home at a reasonable hour to enjoy time with our families. No re-striping of lanes can correct this.

Fire evacuation: Serrano is our only escape route. During the recent Santiago Canyon Fire 2 mandatory evacuation, residents sat in a line of cars on Serrano for more than an hour. The addition of a new development at Santiago Canyon Road and Cannon Street and an estimated additional 300-400 cars could add another hour to our escape route. Don’t let us become another Paradise – where residents perished in their cars.

Health and safety: The impacts caused by grading the site have been grossly understated. We don’t know what contaminates could become airborne after years of dumping.

Sanitary issues: The trail toward Santiago Park and in Santiago Park has more and more people who fail to pick up their dog mess and trash. It’s ridiculous and unsanitary. My daughter and I make an effort to pick up trash, even people’s dog mess, to clean it up. Furthermore, people leave their dog mess outside my gate whereby OC Fire has an easement to access the trail. More people in the community, as a result of this proposed development, will only exacerbate the issue. It’s even worse that people throw their trash in the actual creek itself, where various fowl, turtles and fish live (although I don’t know how many fish are left because I see people fishing in it).

Let’s not turn the beauty of open space in Orange/Santiago Creek into the sardine can development of Irvine.

Anthony Gressak
Mabury Ranch

Return fire

Dear Editor:
I’m not sure Dan Swoish should declare victory, as he did last month in his “Vindicated at last” letter to the editor.

First, I want to correct an error: I was never an OPA Board president. I served on several OPA Board committees. And yes, in 20-plus years of dealing with county, city and development challenges, I learned about land use and property rights. The joint mea culpa statement (April letters) acknowledges that education, which includes why the OPA Specific Plan has protected our community and why we defend it.

Dan Swoish conveniently forgets to inform the readers that the 12 acres in front of his house on the Sully-Miller site was approved for 25 houses in 1993 by the city council, with the blessing of Mabury Ranch.  Pull the resolution and read it for yourself.  He also forgets to tell you his neighbor, former Councilman Mike Spurgeon, was on the city council in 1993 and approved the zone change. Apparently Spurgeon did not live in Mabury Ranch at the time, but had full knowledge of the zone change when he bought his house.

Now Mike Spurgeon and Dan Swoish want no homes north of the creek. They forget that Spurgeon rezoned that area for homes in 1993. Twenty-six years later, the “Spurgeon/Swoish solution” is to shove all the impacts to the OPA/Jamestown side, not zoned for houses, so they can protect their views. Thanks, Dan, for bringing this to my attention. It’s time to call out these self-serving solutions. Spurgeon should know better.

As I said, OPA dodged a bullet when the Fieldstone deal fell apart. In the years since, we have learned about planning, while continuing to serve Orange, and in particular East Orange, protecting residents’ rights and open space, along with trails for public use.

Charles Leffler
Former OPA Real Estate Committee member

Letter to the Editor

May 2019