A book co-authored by a seven-year-old autistic boy and his dad is causing quite a controversy in Frankenmuth.
The title of the book uses the city's name, "Let's Explore Frankenmuth."
The Chamber of Commerce says it owns the term Frankenmuth and wants the book stopped.
The book features seven-year-old Zachary Malott on the cover.
Zack's dad says he had permission to publish the book. The Chamber's attorney says he did not.
Zack has quite a few books under his belt, more than a dozen tracking his trekking across the country.
His latest adventure chronicled his quest to Frankenmuth, including stops at Bronners Christmas Wonderland, the Bavarian Inn, and Satow Drugs.
His dad says the Chamber e-mailed him, outlining the rules for using the term Frankenmuth. Michael Malott reads an e-mail that says, "In reference to your inquiries, as long as the businesses approve their use, you should be all set with the trademark use.'"
The book made it to market two weeks ago.
Then came a cease and desist order from Thomas A. Jaffke, a Frankenmuth attorney, acting on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce saying, "Please be advised that the name Frankenmuth is trademarked. The trademark is held by the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau. They are the holders of the trademark and represent over 350 member businesses. The criteria which has been established is that permission to utilize the name Frankenmuth is limited to use by a resident of Frankenmuth or a member of an active business within the City of Frankenmuth. This is done in order to protect the integrity of the trademark."
The attorney told NBC25 over the phone that he sent the cease and desist order but that he could not comment any more on the matter.
Frankenmuth visitors NBC25 spoke with say they have no problem with the publication.
"It's kind of ridiculous of what they want to stop doing it when it's innocent and it helps promote the town," says Margaret Sutter of Shelby Township.
Brad Zimmerman of Holly says, "I don't think it's fair. I think it's going to draw good attention to the city if they allow it to happen."
Zack's father went to school in Frankenmuth several years ago.
He does not live there now.
He says he is not angry with the city and that it's a wonderful place.
However, he says there's a reason for the objection that he's still trying to figure out.