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Airline Says It Owns the Word "Northwest"

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the don't-even-look-in-that-direction dept.

Idle 7

Freshly Exhumed writes "Northwest Airlines, the major airline whose market branding is being phased out after it was acquired by Delta, charges that it has exclusive ownership of the common, geographically descriptive term northwest. The Minnesota-based airline is going after the operator of a small, Spokane Washington web site that provides tourist information for visitors to the Pacific Northwest. From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, '[the site's owner] said he has so far spent more than $4,000 in the past few months to defend his site, and he's looking at thousands more going forward as he faces battles in the U.S., U.K., and Australia.' Presumably the Government of Canada will be the next Northwest target victim, what with their use of the term to name some of their Territories since 1870. I don't suppose Northwest can sue the world's cartographers, geocachers, boy scouts, etc. can they?"

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New name (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#29014385)

Not a problem; they'll just change their name to Monster Edge.

Next: sue Hitchcock from beyond the grave (2, Funny)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29014499)

They'll have to rename the movie, "North by the Direction Opposite of Southeast".

But, seriously: the tourist site is not technically in the same industry as the airline. It doesn't even offer sales of airline tickets. I thought that you could use similar names as long as the industries were different (e.g. Apple Corps versus Apple Computer). The site has also been up for ten years. They could've sued a lot earlier if it really was an issue.

Re:Next: sue Hitchcock from beyond the grave (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#29020869)

The trouble is even if you are right and the courts agree you are right lawsuits are expensive, and if you are an international operation things are much worse since they can hit you with lawsuits in multiple countries increasing both the cost to defend yourself and the chance that they will get a descision against you (either due to a bad court or due to one of the countries having less friendly laws than the others).

Look at lindows for an example of a company that won it's trademark battle in the US but then realised that fighting the cases MS was throwing at them in other jurisdictions was a lost cause and ended up selling thier name to MS.

Fuck them (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#29015661)

Change the website that formerly used to be about the Pacific Northwest by a simple search and replace on the string.

Now the website will be about the Pacific Delta Airlines Sucks.

Fuck them (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 5 years ago | (#29015747)

Change the website that formerly used to be about the Pacific Northwest by a simple search and replace on the string.Now the website will be about the Pacific Delta Airlines Sucks.

Good joke, Onion (1)

Zixaphir (845917) | more than 5 years ago | (#29016097)

Wait... I'm not reading The Onion....

Never sue an organization older than your industry (1)

apenzott (821513) | more than 5 years ago | (#29016939)

Perhaps this university [] should offer some pro-bono legal representation to []

I Can just see how absurd the argument when the tile page of the lawsuits read:

Northwest Airlines: Plantiff
Dorsey & Whitney LLP: Attorney for Plaintiff Defendant
Northwestern University - School of Law: Attorney for Defendant
Black, Lowe, and Graham: Attorney for Defendant

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