Gain FCU Battles Nearby Loan Company For Trademarks

Several credit unions face trademark lawsuits. (Source: Shutterstock)

Gain Federal Credit Union, based in Burbank, Calif., Is suing a nearby consumer credit company whose name and logo it says are too similar to the credit union and confusing consumers.

In its lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, the Credit Union, which has $ 352 million in assets and approximately 21,000 members, said Gain Credit Holdings, which operates in La Jolla, Calif., used his name and logo to trick people into believing he was Gain Federal Credit Union or that his services were related to Gain Federal Credit Union. The credit union asked the U.S. District Court to hand over the company’s URL, as well as to award punitive damages and other compensation.

“Based on information and belief, Gain Credit has used the counterfeit trademark to promote its consumer loan services, which are the same services that Gain FCU provides, across the United States and particularly in this district,” he said. he stated in the complaint. “In addition, Gain Credit has promoted its consumer loan services through the same business channels as Gain FCU. Accordingly, consumers and the general public might reasonably and erroneously believe and expect that the services of Gain FCU and Gain Credit come from the same source.

The dispute spread beyond the similarity of name. The credit union also claimed that Gain Credit Holdings had a logo with similar design elements and took issue with its use of the domain.

Logos of each organization presented in the complaint filed with the court. Logos of each organization presented in the complaint filed with the court.

“In fact, given that the brands are almost identical, that Gain FCU and Gain Credit provide consumer loan services and promote their services as an alternative to more conventional or traditional financial services, and both have offices in Southern California, public confusion is inevitable, ”the credit union added.

Gain Federal Credit Union also claimed that it had previously warned Gain Credit Holdings of the trademark issue.

“Gain Credit responded by indicating that it was willing to modify the fake site and forwarded the proposed changes which would make it clear that Gain Credit only offers business loan services in the UK and India,” a- he declared. “However, as of the date of this complaint, Gain Credit has not implemented these proposed changes. Additionally, while Gain Credit has indicated that it is prepared to make certain changes to the infringing site, it has not indicated that he was prepared to cease and desist from using the infringing mark.

A series of credit unions have recently become parties to trademark litigation.

Last year, for example, the Ohio-based Park National Bank asked a judge to protect against the Louisville, Ky.-Based Park Community Credit Union, which it said threatened to sue. whether the bank used its name or any name beginning with the word “Park” in Kentucky and southern Indiana. This credit union has $ 955 million in assets and approximately 87,000 members.

Also last year, the Meridian, Idaho-based Capital Educators Federal Credit Union and Capitol Federal Financial Inc., which operates as Capitol Federal Savings Bank, entered into a dispute over the trademarks. The credit union sought the blessing of a federal court to continue using the term “CapEd” despite the bank’s alleged claim that the word was too similar to its own nickname “Capfed”. Capital Educators Federal Credit Union has $ 766 million in assets and approximately 80,000 members.

Additionally, Los Angeles-based company LendingUSA has filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union for disagreements over the similarity of its slogans. The Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union has assets of $ 5.6 billion and approximately 466,000 members.

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