A legal suit of trade mark infringement has been filed against Walmart Inc by JetBlue Airways Corp. The aim of the suit is to prevent the largest retailer of the world from making use of the Jetblack which is used by it for its text-based personal shopping service.
The use of the name Jetblack was a “transparent attempt” to make use of the goodwill of the carrier by Walmart, said the lawsuit that was filed on Friday night. It also alleged that the continued use of the name would potentially cause “significant consumer confusion” with the expansion of the Walmart service throughout the United States.
The use of other “Jet+color” names such as Jetgold and Jetsilver by Walmart was a further attempt by the retailer to cause more infringements, JetBlue also said. It also alleged that infringements were also caused by the attempt of Walmart to move closer to the core business of JetBlue through offers of travel services which also includes dining and entertainment recommendations.
Law suit stated that 43 federal trademark registrations for JetBlue marks are owned by JetBlue. These have been acquired as early as 1999 which was the year before Long Island City, New York-based airlines started to ferry passengers. Currently, JetBlue is the sixth largest airline in the US.
The Jetblack services were in New York City by Walmart in May 2018. It was offered ot its customers as a part of the attempts of the Bentonville, Arkansas based Walmart to rival similar services that are offered by e-commerce companies especially in urban areas such as the Amazon Prime service offered by the largest e-commerce company of the world Amazon.com Inc.
“We respect the intellectual property rights of others,” Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said. “We take this issue seriously, and once we are served with the complaint will respond appropriately with the court.”
JetBlue Airways filed the case against Walmart at the Manhattan federal court. In the law suit, the carrier has demanded compensatory and punitive damages but the amount of it has not been specified yet. One of the defendants of the case is Jet.com which was acquired by Walmart in 2016.
There were no immediate comments available from the lawyers of JetBlue as of Monday.
Jetblack calls itself a “personal shopping and concierge service that combines the convenience of e-commerce with the customized attention of a personal assistant,” with “busy parents” among its target customers. It is also described as a startup which is based within Store No. 8 – the address for Silicon Valley-based incubation arm of Walmart.
The case is JetBlue Airways Corp v Jet.com Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 19-05879.
(Adapted from Money.USNews.com)