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Urban Iditarod to change name after receiving cease-and-desist letter

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Posted at 6:28 PM, Feb 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-24 20:28:59-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Salt Lake City Urban Iditarod is changing its name to avoid a lawsuit.

The local event admits it knocked off the name from the Alaska Iditarod Dog Sled Race, but it says the zany race with costumes and shopping carts only promotes the famous Alaskan race.

The Salt Lake City Urban Iditarod contest received a cease-and-desist notice from the Iditarod Trail Committee in Alaska.

The Urban Iditarod organizer in Utah says there's no way anyone could confuse the real dog sled race for their event.

“The Alaska Iditarod they are complaining because of the use of the word Iditarod, which they have trademarked. It's actually a place in Alaska so we didn't even know that was trademarked,” said Josh Anderson, organizer of the Salt Lake Urban Iditarod “So basically what we are doing is a name change.”

The cease and desist letter says the Salt Lake event harms the original Iditarod’s reputation and adds "your use of 'Iditarod' in connection with your race on your website is likely to confuse your race participants and website users."

The Alaska Iditarod told Fox 13 the Salt Lake Urban Iditarod has cooperated and the issue has been resolved.

And though the Urban Iditarod agreed to change its name, it doesn’t feel the situation is over.

“On Friday our Facebook page was closed down, the event was removed. I contacted their attorney, he was very nice about it, but we still haven't got the Facebook page back up,” Anderson said. “So all the people signed up to participate in this have no idea what's going on.”

The event organizer decided not to cancel the event.

But the focus now is coming up with a catchy name before March 1.