Citigroup sues pawnshop over logo
By Aurore Ankarcrona, CNN
Last Updated: February 3, 2009: 4:59 PM ET
Original Version Available at http://money.cnn.com/2009/02/03/news/companies/citi_suit/index.htm
NEW YORK (CNN) -- You would think that Citigroup had enough on its plate these days, but that hasn't stopped the financial behemoth from filing a copyright infringement suit against a Brooklyn, New York, pawnshop over a similar logo.
In the suit filed last week in Brooklyn federal court, Citigroup alleges that in using the same Citi abbreviation and red arc as its banking subsidiary, Citibank, All Citi Pawn has infringed on their trademark. Citigroup is seeking all of the business' profits since it adopted the All Citi name.
"What can I tell you? Its crazy. They're going wild for a little art that I put up. Theirs is a moon shape, mine is a V-shape, but I've already taken it down," pawn shop manager Bob Kay told CNN.
When contacted, Citgroup (C, Fortune 500) would say only that "as a matter of course, we work to protect the value of our trademarks."
According to trademark attorney Michael Feigin, no matter how small an infraction this may seem, in order to keep a trademark, it has to be protected.
"It is important for Citigroup to know that no one is trading off their name - they need to protect their intellectual property." Feigin went on to say, however, that removing the offending logo should resolve the case. According to Kay, it has not.