Service Mark Infringement – Eighth Circuit

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May 31  |  Headlines  |   david

The First National Bank in Sioux Falls v. First National Bank South Dakota

 In this service mark infringement suit over two banks using similar names, on May 25, 2012 the Eighth Circuit affirmed the issuance of a permanent injunction.  It held that there was sufficient evidence in the record of likelihood of confusion that the District Court of South Dakota’s factual finding of likelihood of confusion was not clearly erroneous.

 In an earlier decision, the court had not extended the injunction to prevent First National  Bank of South Dakota from using its full name.  In a redesigned logo and in advertising materials, FNB SD then used its full name but highlighted “First National” and “First National Bank” and minimized “South Dakota.”

 After the first suit, First National Bank of Sioux Falls federally registered its mark, so the second suit was brought under the Lanham Act.  In this second suit, the use of the redesigned logo and advertising materials was enjoined; however, the court held this was not an “exceptional case” meeting the statutory standard for the award of attorneys fees.

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