Federal Judge Dismisses All Claims Made by Tournament of Roses

PASADENA, Calif.—On Monday, July 12, the United States District Court for the Central District of California ruled in favor of the City of Pasadena in dismissing all claims against it in a lawsuit brought by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. The frivolous—and now fully rejected—claims that the City of Pasadena misused or misappropriated the Tournament’s trademarks related to the Rose Bowl Game and that Mayor Victor Gordo engaged in “false advertising” in comments to the media have now been proven to be ill-conceived and full of egregious assertions.

“This lawsuit should have never been filed in the first place,” said Gordo. “The City of Pasadena has been a tremendous partner to the Tournament, and it is appalling that the Tournament took such a significant step over nothing. We are pleased that the judge wasted little time in dismissing the claims made entirely.”

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. wrote that: “Plaintiff [the Tournament] and Defendant [the City] have been business partners for decades. Due to this mutually beneficial relationship, Plaintiff has consistently benefitted from Defendant’s promotion of Plaintiff’s game and its history and likely encourages such promotion. As discussed in oral argument, that this claim is being brought now is puzzling to the Court and it is clear that this claim [of trademark/unfair competition] is not the crux of the parties’ conflict.” 

The City of Pasadena will now seek to recover the taxpayer dollars the City was forced to needlessly, albeit successfully, spend on defending itself in this litigation. The City expects to request an award that the Tournament of Roses Association reimburse the City’s taxpayers for the hundreds of thousands of dollars incurred in having to defend against these frivolous claims.

“Despite all of the legal wrangling, it is my sincere hope that now we can collectively return our focus to New Year’s Day, with an iconic parade and a game that puts Pasadena in the world’s spotlight once again,” said Gordo. “The Rose Bowl Game is a part of the fabric of Pasadena. As Judge Birotte Jr. recognized in his judgment: “The Court agrees with [the City] that [the Tournament] cannot reasonably dispute that, separate and apart from intellectual property ownership, the heart and soul of the Rose Bowl Game belongs to the people of Pasadena.”