A nonprofit group that aims to promote Route 66 in Tulsa recently had its logo earn trademark status from the U.S. government.
Russ Roach, president of Route 66 Development Group Inc., last year applied for the trademark, which contains a U.S. highway shield and the wording “the Heart of,” a horizontal line, then the wording “Route 66,” all inside the shield. The logo is shown above.
The trademark registration is 5,189,363, according to a letter from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office forwarded to Route 66 News. According to the office, color is not a feature of the trademark.
According to the Tulsa World:
The concept, Roach said, is to “give the general Tulsa area, from the Foyil Totem Pole to Main Street Sapulpa, a unifying positive image in connection to the most famous highway in America.
“Tulsa is fortunate to be near the middle of this internationally known part of American history and culture.” […]
Roach said he intends to give Tulsa-area businesses and organizations permission to use the logo in a wide variety of ways. His organization will not profit from the use of the logo, but there may be a modest charge to cover legal expenses, he said.
Roach, who grew up in Tulsa and is familiar with the 11th Street alignment of Route 66 in the city, is a retired builder and consultant who’s worked on several Route 66 projects in Tulsa for about four years. He also once served in the Oklahoma Legislature for, coincidentally, District 66.
I suspect Roach and other Tulsa Route 66 businesses saw Springfield, Missouri, using the tagline “Birthplace of Route 66” in recent years and decided to create a logo of their own.
It’s debatable what is the heart of Route 66. But Cyrus Avery, the widely acknowledged “Father of Route 66,” lived in Tulsa almost all his adult life. So there’s a key historic link there.
Also, Michael Walls, author of the bestselling “Route 66: The Mother Road” and a longtime Tulsa resident, has said Tulsa is the “heart of Route 66” in speeches since at least 2004, proclaiming the city’s Arkansas River as the dividing line between the East and West of the Mother Road. Wallis carries a lot of clout in Tulsa and the Route 66 community. If he says something, people tend to follow his lead.
(Image of the “The Heart of Route 66” logo via the Route 66 Development Group Inc.)