From Alan Mink:
As you know, The Trade Banc was recently sued by Tradebank International in federal court in Georgia for alleged trademark infringement. The lawsuit is without merit, and we are eager to defend ourselves.
As an initial response, the law provides for a motion to dismiss procedure, which we filed yesterday to challenge the very plausibility of the lawsuit. As spelled out further in our papers, Tradebank International’s alleged mark is not entitled to trademark protection. Numerous courts around the country have held, as a matter of plain law, that marks with generic names like “trade” and “bank” are not entitled to any trademark protection. (See Community First Bank v. Community Banks, 360 F. Supp. 2d 716, 725 (D. Md. 2005) (holding that a party’s marks with the words “community” and “bank” “are generic and not protectable, as a matter of law”).
If Tradebank intends to proceed further with this matter, we intend to file countersuit in a more appropriate federal court in Utah seeking declaratory judgment to cancel Tradebank International’s alleged mark.
Tradebank must be made to understand that we intend to defend ourselves vigorously from this unfounded action. We have already obtained statements from a number of third parties indicating this is developing pattern of conduct on their part — threatening unfounded litigation as a way of intimidating competitors in the barter industry. They should be forced to compete with others in a fair and legal manner.