Oktoberfest Lawsuit Moves Forward
A U-S District Judge is allowing some claims and denying others in a lawsuit and counter-suit involving the city of Leavenworth and a non-profit over Octoberfest activities.
One of the sticking points is whether the group, Projekt Bayern, was legally allowed to use the hashtag #leavenworthoktoberfest while promoting its Oktoberfest event at the Town Toyota Center last year.
The city of Leavenworth argued Projekt Bayern attracted visitors to its Wenatchee event by causing confusion through its use of the Leavenworth name.
Last year, Projekt Bayern Association President Cary Sanger submitted a declaration labeled Exhibit A that included screenshots of the group's website pages advertising Its Leavenworth Oktoberfest taking place in Wenatchee.
Projekt Bayern attorney James Breitenbucher said the group had been consistent in saying its event would be in Wenatchee in order to inform the public of the gathering's exact location.
The city claimed in its written argument that "multiple consumers have communicated to the city that they have changed plans and are no longer planning to visit Leavenworth this year."
The city also claimed Projekt Bayern's "conduct has tarnished the city’s reputation with its residents and visitors, and damaged its relationship with service providers the city works with on this event each year."
In its counterclaim, Projekt Bayern stated that it trademarked the term Leavenworth Oktoberfest in July of 2017.
In court documents filed last week, the judge determined arguments surrounding the dispute over the Projekt Bayern hashtag can still be used in litigation.
He's allowing both the lawsuit and counter-suit to move forward, but will not consider claims of unfair competition when it comes to the words "Oktoberfest is back" and "Oktoberfest returns".
Leavenworth: North Central Washington's Alpine Village
Gallery Credit: Mark Rattner with KPQ Newsradio 560