Business Briefcase – April 2013

Car-Freshner files lawsuit against book publisher

Car-Freshner Corp. has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against a book publisher it claims is marketing a coffee table book that includes an air freshener similar to the Watertown company’s “Little Trees” design.

Car-Freshner, which has its headquarters in the Jefferson County Corporate Park, filed suit March 18 in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, against Insight Editions LP, San Rafael, Calif., a publisher of illustrated books on photography, music and popular culture.

At issue is a new hardcover release titled “The Essential Supernatural: On the Road with Dean and Sam Winchester,” by Nicholas Knight. The book is based on the television show “Supernatural,” in which two brothers explore mysterious beings and events.

Car-Freshner claims each book comes with an air freshener with designs that “closely mimic” its Little Trees, which could lead to confusion among consumers of Car-Freshner products. Car-Freshner is asking a judge to order Insight Editions to stop making or selling any air fresheners similar to its Little Trees and to destroy all existing fresheners, as well as advertisements, promotional brochures and any other materials that may contain the disputed trademark. The suit also seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

Fort Drum economic impact $1.4 billion

In an annual economic impact study released on March 18, it was determined that Fort Drum was responsible for $1,441,992,825 in economic impact for the 2012 fiscal year.

The figure accounts for the presence of about 19,000 soldiers and 20,000 connected family members in the area.

The total was cut from the $1,633,341,987 generated in fiscal year 2011 and $1,505,857,420 in fiscal year 2010. The federal fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

Carl A. McLaughlin, executive director of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, speculated the reduction was connected to fewer construction projects undertaken on the post during the fiscal year after spikes in previous years, according to a report in the Watertown Daily Times.

Northern Federal Credit Union re-brands

Northern Federal Credit Union, which has more than 24,000 members throughout the north country, has undergone a rebranding, including changing its name to Northern Credit Union.

According to a press release, “in keeping with its forward-looking nature, the credit union is introducing an updated brand that reflects its dynamic spirit while continuing to focus on members’ financial needs.”

The rebranding includes a new logo, building signage, marketing materials and a newly designed website with greater functionality and educational content.
The credit union is a federally insured financial institution. For more information, visit www.mynorthern.com.

Carthage sets ‘open for business’ event

The Carthage Chamber of Commerce is planning a one-day event for Saturday, April 6, to showcase the businesses in the town.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 6, the chamber is encouraging all businesses to open their doors to patrons.

“It’s an opportunity for businesses to show what they have to offer,” Chamber President Teri L. Ellis said.

Participating businesses will have balloons and banners. A poker run-type contest will be included with the winner awarded a basket with gifts from participating businesses.

Slic expands services

Slic Network Solutions has opened new service areas for high-speed Internet, phone and IPTV in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties.

In Franklin County, the company is scheduling installation in parts of North Bangor and Brandon.

In St. Lawrence County, service is available in portions of Madrid, Norfolk and Waddington.

A list of available addresses in those areas is at www.slic.com/brandon and www.slic.com/pinegrove.

The company is conducting internal testing of its forthcoming IPTV service and plans to do a limited soft launch May 1 and a general roll out June 1.

Watertown hotel wins hospitality award

The Comfort Inn & Suites, Watertown, recently received the 2013 Gold Hospitality Award from the world lodging developer Choice Hotels International Inc., franchiser of the Comfort brand.

As a top performing property among the company’s more than 5,000 U.S. franchised hotels, the Watertown property is in the top percentile of properties within the Comfort brand, which is 2,573 strong, earning the Gold Award status.

Wellesley Hotel under new management

The Wellesley Hotel and Restaurant, located in Thousand Island Park on Wellesley Island, will reopen its doors on May 24 under new management.
The restaurant will be managed by Chef Karin Lapusnak, who has managed several restaurants in the greater Watertown area, including the Renaissance Restaurant, Goodfello’s Brick Oven Pizza and the Sackets Harbor Brew Pub.

Innkeepers open Potsdam spa

John and Amornrat Lindsey have opened the Siam Classic Spa at 62 Elm St., Potsdam. The spa is an addition of services offered at the Siam Classic Inn, located at the same address. The Lindseys opened the luxury bed and breakfast in the style of ancient Thailand in March 2012.

The Spa offers a holistic spa experience with natural and handpicked treatments. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday by appointment only. For more details, visit www.siamclassicinnandspa.com or call 866-223-7293.
The Siam Classic Inn was recently featured on the cover of “Bed & Breakfast and Country Inn,” published by American Historic Inns Inc.

Otis facility certified

Otis Technology, Lyons Falls, became registered as an AS 9100:2009 certified facility on March 14. The certification includes ISO 9001:2008 compliance.
The AS 9100:2009 is a standard specifically for aviation, space and defense organizations and incorporates the ISO 9001:2008 quality standards as well. Otis pursued the AS 9100:2009 certification because of its status as a defense contractor and supplier of gun-cleaning equipment to military and government agencies.

This registration certifies that the quality management system at Otis Technology in relation to the design, development, manufacture and supply of gun-cleaning equipment and accessories meets the ISO 9001:2008 and AS 9001:2009 provisions. Otis was assessed and approved by National Quality Assurance, U.S.A.

Otis Technology is known for manufacturing one of the world’s most advanced gun-cleaning systems available.

America’s Best Value Inn now a Quality Inn

America’s Best Value Inn, 1190 Arsenal St., Watertown, is now a Quality Inn.
Room prices, which range from $59 to $119 a night, won’t change. But business travelers who are members of the rewards program for the Choice Hotels franchise will enjoy perks by choosing to stay at the Quality Inn. Customers also may enjoy an expanded breakfast with eggs and sausage, consistent with the continental breakfast offered at franchise locations nationwide, owner Richard E. Alexander told the Watertown Daily Times.

Rebranding the hotel is a move Mr. Alexander said he believes will help it compete for travelers with other hotels along Arsenal Street. As a result of the franchise change, which took effect in late February, the hotel has lured new business travelers who never have stayed there before.

“America’s Best Value wasn’t very well known in the Northeast, and we weren’t getting a lot of referrals for customers,” he said. “Quality Inn has a larger loyalty customer base because its rewards program is better. People can use their points to receive discounts and a free night’s stay.”

Mr. Alexander is also owns Restaurante de Riccardo, located next door to the hotel.