PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — Apple Hill is a destination for thousands each year to get apples, donuts, cider, and pie. Now, it’s the center of a legal dispute.
The Apple Hill Growers Association has 25 participating farms, but one of the largest and most recognizable orchards isn’t a part of the association.
A favorite for many, Boa Vista Orchards, which is run by Brad Visman and his family is coming under fire for misusing the “Apple Hill” name.
According to federal court documents, the growers association says Boa Vista is funneling customers to its business by creating confusion and using the trademarked “Apple Hill” name.
The documents show the Visman family created a website, http://www.applehillca.com, which has a banner saying “Apple Hill” with the Boa Vista orchards address listed.
They’re also accused of using the Apple Hill name to direct potential customers to their business.
A google search of the phrase “Apple Hill” won’t take your browser to the growers association address, but rather to 2952 Carson Rd., the Boa Vista Orchards location.
The final straw may have been this billboard put up in the summer, which reads “Apple Hill Open,” with the Boa Vista logo.
People we spoke with say they don’t see a difference.
“Apple Hill is a place that you come to. It’s got a lot of people and a lot of businesses here that are associated with it,” said Jodi Bremer, who’s lived in the Placerville area for two decades.
Lawyers for the Visman family filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit claiming the statute of limitations has passed and that the only damage done “has been to the growers association’s ego.”
We reached out to both the Apple Hill Growers Association and the Visman family for an on-the-record comment and did not hear back.
The two sides will meet in court for the first time on Thursday.