Hammer Museum Trademark Dispute

Oct 9 2007

Dave Pahl, Hammer Museum ownerDave Pahl, Hammer Museum owner

A classic David vs. Goliath battle has ensued between the Hammer Museum and the Hammer Museum. Both museums have filed applications to trademark the name. Dave Pahl's Hammer Museum in Haines, Alaska is actually dedicated to hammers and last year reported earnings of $8,104. The Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles recently dropped the Armand part of their name, has a large collection of Fine Art and last year reported earnings of $10.2 million. Dave Pahl couldn't afford a lawyer and filed his trademark claim himself, while the LA museum lists over 2 dozen lawyers.

"This little museum is trying hard to stay afloat," says Pahl.

Ouch - kind of breaks your heart to see two museums fighting.

To make things worse, Pahl lost the domain name hammermuseum.com last year when he neglected to renew his rights to the name and the museum in LA promptly grabbed it. They have also offered to purchase the name Pahl currently uses (http://hammermuseum.org), but the offer was declined. Furthermore, it is unlikely that the LA Museum will ever even use the hammermuseum.com name as the museum is affiliated with UCLA and must use their hammer.ucla.edu domain name.

I'm rooting for Alaska, but it doesn't look promising...