NEW YORK, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- After being inspired by the annual Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska, a number of “Idiotarod” races featuring humans and shopping carts began popping up around the country.
The people behind the Iditarod apparently don’t find the joke funny anymore and have sent the organizers of the New York Idiotarod a cease-and-desist letter. Lawyers for the Iditarod wanted the event to change its name to “Idiotarodorama NYC.”
From the complaint letter:
“Your use of ‘Idiotarod’ is certainly likely to dilute ITC’s famous mark by reducing its sole association with the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, and by causing the public to associate the mark with an event that celebrates wacky costumes and antics over one that honors the endurance and athleticism of champion sled dogs and the courage and skill of the men and women that run them.”
In spite of the letter, the Idiotarod was still held in New York City over the weekend.
Even though the race was still held, the people behind Idiotarod did decide to change the name, though they weren’t happy about it.
Idiotarodorama NYC put out a press release about the matter:
“The Cease & Desist Demand threatens legal action against Idiotarod NYC for trademark infringement, even though no one in their right mind could possibly confuse the ramshackle, unsanctioned display of frivolity featuring racers with wacky costumes and ridiculously modified shopping carts running between bars in the outer boroughs of New York City with the well-known long-distance sled dog race between Anchorage and Nome…The race is still happening tomorrow, albeit under the new name. You can get the details on the event’s Facebook page if you want to go support these brave, embattled idiots.”
[Sports Illustrated] [Idiotarodnyc.com]