A financial services company in Pennsylvania is facing a battle over intellectual property with Prudential Insurance Company of America, a unit of Prudential Financial Inc.
Prudential Insurance, a Newark, New Jersey-based financial services giant, has sued Philadelphia-based Prudential Bank for trademark infringement and unfair competition, claiming that the Philadelphia bank’s recent name change is causing customer confusion. Prudential Insurance, which sells a range of financial products in addition to selling insurance, filed its lawsuit against Prudential Bank Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
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Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that the bank’s decision to change its name from Prudential Savings Bank to Prudential Bank and to use white and blue coloring for its web page “willfully infringed” on the insurance giant’s trademark branding.
“The combination of Prudential Bank’s name, color scheme and lettering style creates an overall commercial impression that is confusingly similar to the overall commercial impression created by the combination of the Prudential [Insurance] mark and Prudential [Insurance] design,” the company said in a complaint that Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga attorney Tricia O’Reilly filed.
According to the complaint, Prudential Insurance first learned of the alleged similarities after it received a customer complaint about its banking services. The complaint said the insurance company tried to resolve the dispute before bringing a lawsuit, but the two companies were unable to reach an agreement.
The complaint noted that both companies started in the late 1800s, with Prudential insurance opening in 1875, and Prudential Bank, then known as The South Philadelphia Building and Loan Association, in 1886.