Trademark Musings

Thoughts on trademark issues by Laura Winston

There’s a swingin’ bank I know called…Capital City

Well, Capital City may exist only on The Simpsons, but unlike Duff Beer, CAPITAL CITY BANK exists as a real bank as well as a  trademark, to the chagrin of Citigroup.  The latter opposed the trademark application for CAPITAL CITY BANK, filed in the name of Capital City Bank Group Inc., based on Tallahassee, Florida.  After losing the opposition, Citigroup appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which found the two marks to be different enough that there would be no likelihood of confusion.   The court noted that the term “city bank” is common in trademarks for banks.

Citigroup tried an argument I thought was pretty creative — they took the position that CAPITAL in the mark CAPITAL CITY BANK would be perceived by consumers in the money context rather than in the center of government context.  It was a nice try, but the Federal Circuit didn’t buy it.

So in the immortal words of Tony Bennett, it’s against the law to frown in… Capital City.  That goes for you too, Citigroup.

March 29, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] There’s a swingin’ bank I know called…Capital City – It’s nice to know that a trademark fight between banks can be used to reference The Simpsons.  Excellent usage.  […]

    Pingback by Reading Digest: Bottom of the List Edition « Dead Homer Society | April 1, 2011 | Reply

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