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Trademark Law

Wis. State Bar Sues LexisNexis over a ‘Strikingly Similar’ Pillar Logo

Posted Aug 23, 2011 7:07 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The State Bar of Wisconsin has filed an infringement suit against LexisNexis over its use of an online logo.

The suit contends LexisNexis uses a logo on its Lawyers.com website that is “strikingly similar” to the bar’s pillar icon, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Lawyers.com provides information about lawyers and the law to the public. The website’s use of the logo could mislead its readers into thinking there is an affiliation with the state bar, according to the lawsuit (PDF posted by Courthouse News Service).

LexisNexis has turned down a request that it change the logo, the bar says in a press release. The bar registered the pillars icon after screening for conflicting marks.

The Journal Sentinel notes “a nice touch” in the suit: It cites a Lawyers.com article on trademarks.

“It's unfair for a rival or competing business to play off of the popularity of a particular product or service by using the same or similar mark,” the Lawyers.com article explains. “This rival or competitor could obtain business based on the quality or years you've spent building your brand name. What's more, your fine product's reputation could be damaged if consumers purchase an inferior product believing it to be yours because of a similar trademark.”


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