American Insurance Group (AIG) is facing legal proceedings in the US relating to use of the mark AIG. According to World IP Review, A.I.G Agency (the Agency) filed a claim against AIG last week in a court in Missouri.
Importantly, the Agency is said to have provided eight examples of confusion between the two businesses, including emails and telephone calls sent to the wrong address, which is has filed in support of its claim. However, correspondence annexed the claim reportedly included historic correspondence between the two firms including dated requests from legal counsel at AIG that the Agency cease trading under a name incorporating the AIG mark. It will be interesting to await further developments on the AIG story, as the claim is likely to be defended.
In the UK, the law of passing off can provide some recourse for a business trading under a name if they have generated goodwill in a mark, but not taken steps to register that mark as a trade mark, and a competitor is using the mark in the course of business, leading to confusion in the marketplace.
Where steps have been taken to register a trade mark in the formative stages of a business journey, enforcement of that mark against infringing competitors is often a simpler and more cost-effective process than passing off.
If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
in: News, Passing Off, Trade Marks