— An email from the UTMB® —

We are contacting you concerning the name of your race Kathmandu Ultra Trail Race.

We would like to inform you that the trademarks Ultra-Trail®, Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®, UTMB® and CCC®, and also the “little man on the logo” are registered trademarks protected on several formal registers, notably the French registrations n°03 3 263 524 et n° 04 3 268 329 and the Community (EU) n°6811079 & n°6811137.
The brand Ultra-Trail® is also protected in Japan and China under the respective numbers 1132919 & 1135683 (17Sept 2012) and 1135683 & 1132919 (17 Sept 2012 and 19 Aug 2013)

We pay attention to the defence of our trademarks, that is why we authorise their use in a specific manner under the conditions below. While we tolerate the use of a trademark, it is essential that the symbol ® also appears. Not respecting this rule will result in a legal procedure respecting our rights.

The use of our trademarks is reserved for those with a partnership contract or a contractual licence.
The use of our trademark Ultra-Trail® is only tolerated upon specific authorisation outside a licence or partnership. Its systematic use must be for that which it was registered and fulfil the following conditions:
– No acronym may be created from Ultra-Trail®.
– Ultra-Trail® must, on no account, be used as in a descriptive nature or as a common noun.
– The spelling must never be changed.
– The hyphen must not be removed.
– The words may not be cut or regrouped.
– The plural form may not be used.
– No other word may be added between the brand name and the ®.
– Ultra-Trail® must never be associated with third party commercial brands.

More specifically, the use of the trademark “Ultra-Trail®” may only be authorised when referring to popular trail-running races in the format trail ultra XL (see the International Trail Running Association’s definition – as from 100km), which respect the environment and the ITRA’s values.

We note that your race does not comply with the criteria stated above. Consequently, you are not authorised to use our trademark and we expressly request that you:
-immediately cease to use the trademark “Ultra-Trail®”
-choose a race name which does not use our trademark or any similar denomination.

We are at your disposition to answer any questions you might like to ask concerning this subject.


Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®
Nicolas Lagrange

tel : +33 (0)4 50 53 47 51

  1. Lizzy Hawker says:

    I remain flummoxed as to how two words in the (English) dictionary “ultra” and “trail” can be trademarked. If the above email is to believed then you cannot say Ultra Trail, Ultra-Trail, Trail Ultra, ultra trail, ultra-trail or any other configuration, or indeed Ultramarathon Trail or Trail Ultramarathon. Does the trademark extend to other languages, Über Trail, Über-Trail? Or to other words, Ultimate Trail, Ultimate-Trail?

    The UTMB was certainly my first ultra trail race, but it was also certainly not the first ultradistance race to be held on trails. The newly formed International Trail Running Association defines various distances of Trail Ultra http://www.i-tra.org/page/259/Definition_of_trail-running.html. No ® in sight, and a regrouping of the words.

    Am I missing a point somewhere? I will continue to question.

    For now, goodbye Ultra Trail Kathmandu.

    Kathmandu 50.50 will be even more awesome. Will you be there?

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