What a Hon-derful day!

Denise Whiting, owner of Café Hon in Baltimore, announced this week she would abandon her trademark claim on the word “Hon.” Personally, I thought the trademark claim was a bad business decision and somewhat of an affront to the Hon culture. As a transplant from the D.C. suburbs, I have taken to Baltimore because of its blue-collar work ethic, eclectic personality and this weird appeal of the "City that Reads" you can truly appreciate only if you live here. To me, "Hon" is Baltimore, something that could not be trademarked or owned. (I also thought, however, that I would rather eat at nearby Golden West Cafe, so my boycott of Café Hon was largely a culinary decision and not one of true protest.) As an attorney, however, I wanted to know the actual law on the issue instead of relying on news reports. Fortunately for me, the answer was within easy reach. I walked down the hall at my office recently to go straight to The Source -- or, in this case, The Sources: Kimberly Grimsley and Pamela Riewerts, two trademark lawyers in our Intellectual Property Department at Bowie & Jensen.  Here are the pertinent parts of our conversation:

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