The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association is suing the city of Pasadena over rights to the trade names Rose Bowl Game and Rose Bowl.
The dispute originated in the move of this year’s game to Texas due to the COVID-19 pandemic but involves the city’s insistence that it is co-owner of the trademarks, the association said Thursday.
The city had not yet reviewed the claims, spokeswoman Lisa Derderian told the Pasadena Star-News.
The association stages the Rose Parade, a New Year’s celebration that dates to 1890, and the Rose Bowl college football game, which dates to 1902.
The association built the Rose Bowl Stadium and deeded it to the city in 1922. The game has been played there except this year and in 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, when it was moved to North Carolina.
The association contends it owns the trademarks and the relationship with the city is specified in three agreements.
The master agreement requires the game to be held in the Rose Bowl except when something occurs beyond a party’s control, a legal concept called “force majeure,” the association said.
The city’s insistence that its consent is required makes it necessary for a court to clarify the rights, said David Eads, the association’s executive director and CEO.