Uber Technologies, the riding app frequented by many looking for alternatives to public transportation, is being sued in the U.S. District Court of Florida by Uber Operations, LLC for trademark infringement.
Uber Operations, “an elite data integration and cloud computing company” according to the Complaint claims that it had secured the trademark prior to the driving app. Uber Operations filed for a trademark on April 28, 2011.
Uber Operations claims that there is actual consumer confusion between the two companies and is requesting an order to cancel the trademark of the popular driving app.
For those wondering, the two were granted the use of the trademarks for their respective businesses, Uber Operations for the field of IT and Uber Technologies for the industry of ride-sharing. However, du to the increased popularity of the driving app, the public is being confused about the two companies.
Due to the recent bad press from the driving app, Uber Operations has received bad reviews and even death threats due to consumer confusion. Additionally, it has received legal notices confusing the company with the driving app company.
A search on the USPTO web site reflect that Uber, the driving app, filed for the “Uber” trademark it filed for in December 2016 in a wide-range of industries. However, a suspension notice was issued last month to clarify and administrative issue.
This is another good example of how smaller companies must protect their brand. While the San Francisco-based Uber Technologies has grown exponentially and Uber Operations is a regional company, it is still being affected due to brand/consumer confusion. I would expect the parties to eventually come to a settlement and its unlikely that Uber Technologies would have its trademark cancelled.