The City of Moreno Valley has been warned by Beverly Hills that its plan to brand a possible upscale neighborhood in the Inland Empire with a distinctive official logo is a rip-off of the famous Beverly Hills sign.
The city attorney for the moneyed enclave next to Hollywood sent a “respectful request” to the Moreno Valley city council last week, asking that logos and signs for a city-designated neighborhood in the inland city — called “Rancho Belago” — be redesigned to look at little less Beverly Hills-ish.
Beverly Hills City Attorney Laurence S. Wiener told local press that Moreno Valley will dilute the value of the famous Beverly Hills shield by posting signs that he claims are nearly identical to his affluent community’s trademarked design. Both signs feature shields with ornate embellishments top and bottom.
Wiener’s April 9 letter said the similarities in the two signs are likely to confuse or deceive people into thinking there’s “an association, affiliation, or connection between Rancho Belago and Beverly Hills.”
Beverly Hills owns its distinctive shield design trademark and has used it since 1971.
It was reported that the Moreno Valley City Council adopted the name Rancho Belago in 2007 to christen the portion of the city generally east of Lasselle Street with what one of the area’s leading developers, Iddo Benzeevi, hoped would burnish the community’s image with a catchy cachet.
Benzeevi told local reporters he is willing to tweak his emblem to avoid controversy.
“I want to be sensitive and responsive and be a good neighbor,” he said. “We’re honored that they (Beverly Hills) think the Rancho Belago design is so wonderful. If you find yourself in Rancho Belago looking at the Rancho Belago sign and think you’re in Beverly Hills, you either have to change your navigation system or check your prescription.”