When you think of Uber, you think of the popular ride-sharing service, right? But if a Florida company gets its way in federal court, the ride-sharing company will have to find a different moniker.
The Florida outfit, Uber Promotions Inc., has sued Uber Technologies Inc. in federal court in its home state, saying it’s been in business longer and that Uber Technologies is infringing on its common-law trademark rights. The company, which provides transportation, event planning and talent agency services, among other things, says in its complaint that it has to field calls and e-mails from people who are either trying to line up a ride-share, or complain about one. Uber Promotions alleges that Uber Technologies is hurting its business because the ride-sharing company has created a “strong negative connotation” around the Uber name for transportation services, leading to Uber Promotions’ vehicles being turned away from their destinations.
Uber Promotions wants the court to order Uber Technologies to destroy all devices, websites, advertisements, packages, signs, and all other materials in its possession that bear the UBER mark, and direct its Internet service providers and web hosts to delete all references to the mark from their public databases and search engine directories.
Uber Promotions’ chances of success are probably slim, given the ride-sharing company’s global fame, and the fact that the Florida company waited six years after the ride-sharing app launched to file a complaint.
Even if the court sided with Uber Promotions, it’s tough to see how the public would stop thinking of Uber as the app you can use to summon a ride everywhere from Abilene, Texas to Zurich, Switzerland. But we’ll keep watching the case and let you know how it goes.
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