Who owns “Little House on the Prairie”?
January 25, 2011 The Associated Press reported a settlement had been reached between Friendly Family Productions, owners of the television series “Little House on the Prairie”, and the non-profit museum in Independence, Kansas which owns and operates the site of the Little House described in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, “Little House on the Prairie”.
The owners of the television series claimed ownership of the name “Little House on the Prairie” in a federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles in 2008. The lawsuit wanted the museum to change its trademark, website and store names. Friendly Family Productions said it had no issue with the museum using the words “little house on the prairie” to describe the site or the museum, because that descriptive use does not infringe on their trademark. They, however, objected to the use applied to merchandise for sale in the store and on the website, as well as having the name “Little House on the Prairie” used on merchandise, in what they consider an unlicensed use of the name.
The Little House on the Prairie, Inc., is a non-profit organization operated by Bill Kurtis and Jean Schodorf. Kurtis told the Montgomery County Chronicle, ““The Little House site and museum will continue with minimal change.”
A settlement was reached January 24, 2011 in New York, but its contents were not disclosed. The agreement reached will not become final until signed by all parties in early February.
Though neither party is allowed to discuss the specifics of the agreement, it should be noted the website of the Kansas museum is no longer available.