Companies with almost the same name in trademark dispute

By The Star Staff

Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., by and through its attorneys, Ferraiuoli LLC, has sued Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico LLC and Liberty Communications of Puerto Rico LLC for trademark dilution and trademark infringement under local and federal laws.

In a suit filed last week in U.S. District Court, Liberty Mutual said it has used the Liberty trademark since Feb. 19, 1919, in connection with the provision of insurance-related goods and services. Because Liberty Cablevision is promoting warranties for its products, the companies get mixed up, the plaintiff said.

“Despite being well aware of the Liberty Marks [trademarks], which are famous throughout the United States, including Puerto Rico,” Liberty Mutual says Liberty Cablevision, a Delaware limited liability company and a Puerto Rico limited liability company, began using and continue to use the LIBERTY SMART PROTECT trademark “in connection with the offering of insurance goods and services; namely, extended warranties for goods and services.”

The use by Liberty Cablevision of the Liberty Protect trademark “is likely to dilute and cause confusion with the famous and distinctive Liberty Marks.”

Liberty Cablevision has used and continues to use the Liberty Protect trademark on its website and other advertising and promotional materials in order to identify and build goodwill for its brand, the lawsuit says.

“Such use is harmful to both Liberty Mutual and the consuming public. Under the Liberty Marks, Liberty Mutual offers and provides insurance services to over 10 million consumers in the United States and even more worldwide,” the suit says. “Defendants’ use of the Liberty Protect Mark is likely to dilute the strong and famous Liberty Marks, which form a unique source identifier within the field of insurance services,” the suit says.

Because defendants are using a trademark that is very similar to the Liberty trademarks, in connection with products and services affiliated with insurance and warranty services,their use is likely to dilute the Liberty trademarks, thus severely harming Liberty Mutual, the suit says.

Their use is “also likely to cause consumer confusion, error, and/or deception as to the source, origin, or association of their products and services,” the suit says.

Liberty Mutual seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to stop Liberty Cablevision from diluting and infringing activity, as well as monetary damages to compensate Liberty Mutual for the harm suffered as a result of the use of the Liberty Protect trademark in connection with the promotion and offering of insurance and warranty services.

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