PORTLAND - The National Grange association announced plans to file a trademark infringement claim against a group proposing a new casino near Portland.
The two Canadian companies representing the proposal say that they want to turn a shuttered dog track east of Portland into a complex with a casino, hotel, movie theater and pool called “the Grange.”
They hope voters will approve their plan in November, two years after a similar proposal was overwhelmingly rejected at the ballot box.
Grange officials said Friday the name damages “the reputation of our nonprofit, community service organization.” They sent a "cease and desist" letter to the casino developers and said this fight is not political; it's about protecting their trademark name.
Both sides met Tuesday to discuss the issue. National Grange members said they were caught by surprise when advertisements started running. The fraternal organization was established in 1867 and has Grange halls throughout the country.
"The monetary issue is not really a concern to the National Grange. What we are concerned about is our reputation as an organization because that reputation has been built by the local Grangers all through this country," said National Grange President Ed Luttrell.
Meantime, a spokesperson for the proposed casino said they were hoping to reach an amicable resolution.
A panel of citizens has recommended that voters reject the measure authorizing non-tribal casinos in Oregon.
Oregon’s constitution prohibits the legislature from allowing casinos.
Developers who want to build a casino outside Portland are asking voters to authorize private gambling centers in certain situations.