New York New York feels the love - from millions every day. Its suitors wear shirts that declare their love for the Big Apple, and they drink from cups and write with pens that do the same. The shopping bags and key chains express the same feelings. The worship is thanks to the ubiquitous logo 'I Love NY' with the middle word visualised by a red heart. Since it was created in 1977 to help promote tourism in New York state, the logo has won the hearts of New Yorkers and tourists alike and may be the most popular logo for a geographic area in the world. And this month, the state government launched a campaign to take the heart even further. But, ironically, it might be less visible as a result. With US$17 million in investment and a goal of boosting the number of tourists to the state by 30 per cent to 200 million by 2020, the campaign includes a series of promotions, including multimedia advertisements and a more convenient website for visitors. The focal point is the makeup of the red-heart logo, the first change since it was born. But the campaign includes a crackdown on the logo's unauthorised use. Those who adopt the trademarked red heart without permission will be taken to court. A spokeswoman for the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), the state's economic development agency, emphasised the campaign was mainly about boosting tourism but admitted tighter enforcement of trademark infringements was part of its strategy. It is consistent with the increasing efforts of the state to protect this asset. The US Patent and Trademark Office documents more than 20 'heart' related lawsuits filed by the state in the past five years, while there were only three from 1998 to 2002. Recent cases involved various derivatives from 'I Love NY Beer' and 'I Love YOGA' to 'I Love NJ' and 'I Love Las Vegas'. The list would be longer if it included those who got warnings from the state, including Brisbane, Australia, for its 'I Love BNE' and Italian fashion house Gucci for its 'Gucci Loves NY'. 'Trademark infringements hamper New York's ability to maximise value from the logo. It makes it hard to market the state using this great icon,' said Thomas Ranese, the chief marketing officer of the ESDC. But the state's aggressiveness is breaking one or two New Yorkers' hearts. One belongs to graphic designer Milton Glaser, 78. Mr Glaser designed the original logo and handed it to the state for nothing. It came straight from his generous Bronx heart. But when he revised it into 'I Love NY More Than Ever' to boost morale after the September 11 attacks, the state threatened to sue him for trademark infringement. 'The stupidity! It saddened me,' Mr Glaser told The New York Times. Another belongs to Michael Stewart, 24, a Brooklyn-born entrepreneur. Mr Stewart moved to North Carolina when he was 11, started his own apparel company when he was 14 and designed the 'I Love NC' T-shirt, a hot item with his customers. Since 2004, he has spent most of his time studying trademark laws, learning to write legal petitions and defending himself single-handedly after he was sued by the state of New York. He won the case in October when the Patent and Trademark Office ruled that his logo was different. But the state later filed a civil case against him that he estimated could cost him up to US$3 million to defend. Figuring the price for love was too high, he settled the case by giving up his logo and shifting to a new business - trademark-related teaching and training, based on his own experience. 'People should have the freedom to say they love something. They [the state] shouldn't have a monopoly to say that,' he said.