Uber Promotions Sues Ride-Sharing App Over UBER Mark

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By Alexis Kramer
Sept. 30 — A provider of passenger transportation services — known as Uber Promotions Inc. — filed suit against the ride-sharing company Uber Technologies Inc. for allegedly infringing upon its rights in the UBER mark (Uber Promotions Inc. v. Uber Technologies Inc., N.D. Fla., No. 1:15-cv-00206-MW-GRJ, complaint filed 9/29/15).

Uber Promotions argued that Uber Technologies' use of the mark has caused actual consumer confusion and has driven away its customers due to the “strong negative connotation” the ride-sharing company created between the term “uber” and transportation services.

“Plaintiff's vehicles have actually been turned away and prevented from reaching their intended destinations because they bear the word “UBER” on the side, thereby preventing Plaintiff from providing the services to which it has obligated itself to its consumers,” according to the Sept. 29 complaint.

Uber Promotions seeks to permanently enjoin Uber Technologies from using the UBER mark, or any mark similar thereto, to identify its services. It also seeks an order requiring the defendant to, among other things, destroy all of its devices, websites, advertisements and other materials that bear the UBER mark.

Confusion Between Uber Companies

Uber Promotions alleged that it acquired common law trademark rights in the UBER mark through extensive use, marketing and advertising in Florida and interstate commerce since 2006, in connection with its limousine and charter services.

Defendant Uber Technologies didn't start using the term until at least 2009 to launch its transportation services business, the plaintiff asserted, and didn't register the mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office until 2011.

Due to the similarity between the two parties' marks, the plaintiff claimed to have received multiple calls and e-mails, at times daily, from the public to complain about the defendant.

Concept Law Group PA represents Uber Promotions Inc.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Kramer in Washington at akramer@bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Thomas O'Toole at totoole@bna.com