American lifestyle queen Martha Stewart has angered local residents in her new hometown of Katonah, New York, by attempting to trademark the area's name.
Stewart - who was this week (ends21JAN07) named the third richest woman in entertainment by Forbes magazine - has a trademark pending for the Katonah Collection, which is already on sale. But locals fear that if the application is approved, it could prevent other furniture stores from using the Katonah name in the future.
WILLIAM O'NEILL, co-president of the Katonah Village Improvement Society, echoes the views of residents and agrees that while they have no problem with Stewart using the name, they do not feel it is appropriate for one person to own it.
He says, "We don't think it's a good idea for her to assert trademark rights over a name that's been in use as a place name since 1852."
However, Stewart's spokeswoman, DIANA PEARSON, has hit back at locals' concerns and says, "Martha Stewart, number one, loves Katonah; number two, seeks to honour the town and the hamlet by using the word Katonah."
Stewart, 65, bought a house in Katonah in 2000, after living in Westport, Connecticut, for more than 30 years.