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Hollywood Chamber of Commerce asks L.A. Kings’ goalie to pay royalties

NHL netminder told his use of the iconic “Hollywood” sign on his mask infringes its trademark

(Update below)

Harassing the opposing team’s goalie is a time-honored tradition in hockey. But what about targeting the home team’s goalie?

That’s what’s happening now in Los Angeles, as a report surfaced yesterday that the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has asked the National Hockey League (NHL) to settle some trademark trouble.

L.A. Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier for the past two seasons has honored the city by wearing a mark adorned with trappings of the town, including a movie reel and an image of the famous “Hollywood” sign. But now, the Chamber says Bernier either needs to remove the sign from his mask or pay royalties for using it.

The word “Hollywood” isn’t trademarked, but any depictions of the sign itself are restricted. According to the Hollywood sign’s website, “…if you’d like to use an image of the Sign for any sort of commercial purpose, be it licensing, filming, or photography, there are resources you can use to get the access and permissions you will need.”

Bernier told Mayor’s Manor yesterday at a pre-game skate that he was upset about the issue.

“I don’t understand,” he said. “Guys here have been using the Hollywood sign on their masks going all the way back to (former Kings goalie) Kelly Hrudey.”

Hrudey echoed Bernier’s frustration and lamented that the situation has come to this point, but said that while he’s not a lawyer, he understood the copyright/trademark concern.

For more, read Yahoo! Sports’ Puck Daddy.

Update: Mayor's Manor reports that the Chamber has now decided to allow Bernier to keep the image on his mask.

“This has now been brought to my attention and we’ve looked into it further,” Christine Sovich of Global Icons, the counsel/agency representing the trust overseeing the "Hollwood" sign and the Chamber, told Mayor's Manor. “The Chamber has no objection to the use of it in that nature (referring to Bernier’s use on his mask). Therefore, a letter has already gone out—prior to me calling you back—letting them know…that we appoligze for the inconvenience of the original letter. The Chamber has no objection to the use. He can continue to use it that way.”

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