Uber Operations vs Uber Technologies

 In Infringement, Trademark, Trademark law, U.S. Trademark Office, US Trademark Law

Uber Operations, a small healthcare IT company from Tallahassee, is suing the world-famous ride-sharing giant Uber Technologies for trademark infringement.

On one side, we have a cloud computing company which is specializing in providing information technology services to the healthcare industry. Uber Ops was formed in Florida in 2004 and has since then built up long-standing relationships with the State of Florida, State of Texas, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”), Association of Public Health Labs and various other organizations and private companies.

On the other side, we have an IT company providing delivery and transportation services. Since its official launch in San Francisco in 2011, Uber Tech has grown rapidly and is now operating in 633 cities all over the world. The original idea of making it easier and affordable for people to book a luxury black cab gave way for what today is numerous different cab options, a food delivery service, on-demand deliveries, helicopter ride and even self-driving cars.

United States Patent and Trademark Office only issues trademarks that are identical if the two companies are active in different sectors, which applies in this case. However, Uber Tech started delivering flu vaccinations and using an IT platform that’s identical to Uber Ops which added even more confusion to the namesake dispute.

Not only has Uber Ops been receiving thousands of calls, emails and faxes directed to Uber Tech. They have also been sent information relating to background checks and credit checks, packages with phones and other personal items. And if that wasn’t enough, members of staff at Uber Ops have received threats of violence and even death, all intended for Uber Tech and its drivers.

As a result of the constant business interruption and fear of violence, Uber Ops has been forced to take precautionary measures such as removing the company signs from its offices.

Uber Ops is stating in its complaint that “although Uber Operations and Uber Tech are not direct competitors, the ubiquitiousness of Uber Tech’s mark is such that it has spread across markets and overwhelmed Uber Operations’ mark”. They are demanding a trial by jury, asking for Uber Tech’s trademark to be invalidated.

The lawsuit was filed on August 29, 2017 and is currently pending.

Do you want to know more about trademarks, need advice on how and where to apply or assistance with protecting the trademarks you already own? Contact Otmore’s specialists!

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