According to this article:
The city of Santa Cruz cannot market itself as “Surf City USA.”
At least that’s what the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled.
The cities of Santa Cruz and Huntington Beach have been arguing over the title and the right to brand it.
While some Santa Cruz residents were upset, others said it did not matter.
Others said it could lead to lost tourism revenue for Santa Cruz.
The trademark means that Huntington Brach now has the right to advertise, market and promote itself as “Surf City USA.”
Though the article is fairly sparse on details, based on the facts contained in the article, it seems that the conclusion that “Santa Cruz cannot market itself as ‘Surf City USA’” is a bit premature or imprecise.
The USPTO cannot enjoin an entity from using a trademark. All it can do is refuse federal registration of a trademark. It is not a court and is not empowered to enjoin marketing.
Santa Cruz could certain continue to call itself Surf City USA (without a ®, of course)…at the risk of a lawsuit brought by Huntington B[e]ach. But, all the USPTO did was refuse registration.