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Pendleton name makes for woolly ancestral issue

The letter, says Pendleton Jewellers co-owner Aaron Hall, 'came right out of the blue.'

'Dear Gaines Hall LLC, dba Pendleton Jewellers,' began the letter from Portland attorney Anne Glazer, dated May 13 and addressed to the owners of the new jewelry store at 1135 N.E. Broadway.

'We represent Pendleton Woolen Mills ('Pendleton'). É Your company's use of the name 'Pendleton Jewellers' has already caused, and will continue to cause, public confusion, mistake or deception É as to a relationship between Pendleton and Pendleton Jewellers. É Your use of the name 'Pendleton Jewellers' therefore violates Pendleton's trademark rights and constitutes unfair competition. É Accordingly, on behalf of Pendleton, we request that (you) cease and desist from using the name 'Pendleton Jewellers.' '

There hasn't been such a David and Goliath matchup over trademark infringement since the Los Angeles entrepreneur who created Glow beauty products and megastar Jennifer Lopez Ñ the name behind the Glow by J. Lo fragrance Ñ decided to go at it in court, with a trial set for fall.

Pendleton Woolen Mills is not only bigger, older and richer than Pendleton Jewellers, it registered the name 'Pendleton' in Oregon first: Feb. 16, 1909. The jewelry company registered its name Jan. 23 this year.

However, as the jewelry store's Hall points out, appearances can be deceiving.

Pendleton Woolen Mills, according to its Web site, was named after an idle mill purchased by its founders in the Eastern Oregon town of Pendleton in 1909. Pendleton was named for George H. Pendleton, an Ohio senator who ran for vice president in 1864. And Sen. George Pendleton was an ancestor of Edmund Pendleton Gaines III Ñ the co-founder of Pendleton Jewellers and the 'Gaines' half of its owner, Gaines Hall LLC.

In other words, Hall says, 'Maybe we should be suing them.'

Contact Janine Robben at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..