CHARLOTTE, NC: Clear!Blue, LLC, a Detroit-based marketing and advertising firm, was ordered by federal court in North Carolina to rebrand following North Carolina-based marcomms agency, Clear Blue, Inc's successful copyright infringement case.
As a company specializing in brand differentiation, Clear Blue, Inc said it filed suit to put an end to the confusion with the Detroit-based agency, and won $2 million in lost royalties and a court-mandated rebranding for Clear!Blue, LLC.
The Detroit agency's president, Mike Rosenau, said it was “disappointed with the result, and we are looking all of our options right now to come to an amicable close on this.”
He declined to comment on the specifics of how it might need to rebrand, such as what its new name would be. Rosenau added that it had never come across confusion with the North Carolina agency.
“The main point we made in our case is that we never competed for a client or been confused with [the other agency],” he said.
In the complaint, Clear Blue noted an incident where a colleague from Boulevard Films called and congratulated the company on winning an account with Dunkin' Donuts, which had been reported in AdWeek.
“There were several incidents of encroachment, such as people calling and asking us why we were saying we weren't based in Michigan,” said Jim Konieczny, CFO of Clear Blue Inc. “The [two companies'] Web sites and Google search [results] only added to the confusion.”
Other instances mentioned in the complaint refer to several inquiries from Google Inc. mistakenly requesting consultant, as well as job seekers' inability to distinguish between the two companies in Web searches.