The Arizona Department of Transportation — publisher of the award-winning Arizona Highways magazine — is asking to be awarded the profits of a downtown Scottsdale business in a lawsuit alleging federal trademark infringement.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court Tuesday, states that Arizona Highway Shops, 7117 E. Third Ave., which sells jewelry and Southwest merchandise, can confuse consumers into believing it is associated with the magazine and potentially ruin its good name.
"It's a quality control issue," said Doug Nintzel, ADOT spokesman.
ADOT also wants the Scottsdale business to quit using the name.
Nintzel wasn't able to immediately find out how much the department might have been damaged by Elliott Glasser's business.
The lawsuit asks, however, that an accounting of Glasser's profits be done and "awarding ADOT the amount by which Defendants have been unjustly enriched by their wrongful acts."
Glasser said he has never represented having an affiliation with Arizona Highways magazine and that Arizona Highway Shops has been a registered trademark with the state for years.
According to the Arizona secretary of state, the trademark has been registered since March 1991, been renewed three times and doesn't expire until 2006.
Glasser said he welcomes the lawsuit, which he called "ridiculous and erroneous."
Glasser's business sells merchandise by mail order, wholesale and retail, but there is no retail store or warehouse with the business name out front, Glasser said.
"I'm not flaunting their name," he said.
Nintzel said the magazine staff became aware of Glasser's business sometime during the summer.
He said there was some "back and forth" with Glasser but they couldn't resolve the matter.
The magazine has been in circulation since 1925 and obtained a federal trademark registration from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1983.
Nintzel said the magazine, which is circulated in all 50 states and 120 countries, generated $10 million in revenue last year and is projected to generate $10.5 million in 2004.
ADOT has spent over three-quarters of a century and millions of dollars to create the magazine's good name, the lawsuit states.