Suit claims rival law firm copied billboard in effort to trick potential clients
A personal injury law firm in Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit that contends a rival law firm copied the look of its billboard to cause confusion among potential clients.
The suit by the Ellis Law Offices claims the rival billboard, created by the Law Offices of Joseph J. Cariglia and its marketing firm, is strikingly similar to its own billboard.
According to the suit, the Cariglia firm’s likely intent was causing confusion and “tricking potential clients who had seen Ellis’ billboard into calling Cariglia instead.”
The suit alleges trade dress infringement, unfair competition, and interference with contractual relations with clients.
One billboard is on Interstate 290 East and the other is on Interstate 290 West. Both are medium blue and yellow, both include pictures of lawyers extending from the top of the billboard, and both ask the question “Injured?” according to the suit.
The Ellis billboard reads: “Injured? Results you deserve” while the Joseph J. Cariglia billboard reads, “Injured? Don’t stand alone.”
The suit asks a judge to order the removal or alteration of the rival billboard and to award $500,000 in damages.
The marketing company for the Cariglia firm told the Telegram & Gazette in a statement that there are “numerous differences” between the billboards, including colors, language, wording arrangement and numbers of pictures.
“Billboards of this type, advertising legal services, are seen in many markets across the country; the contents of these kinds of billboards are generally descriptive and do not contain unique or original types of information,” the statement said.