Small Florida RIA fights for its name as litigious $10 billion Chicago fund-picker Ariel Investments sues for brand infringement
The founder of $225 million Ariel Capital says he named the firm after his daughter but a Google search already has him wrong-footed with the judge
Mr. Bray, welcome to Chicago style in-fighting with Obama sycophants. You want a federal Judge from the Northern District of Illinois to do ANYTHING other than going along with Mr. Obama (and his friends), forget it. I’m wondering why this hack hasn’t sued Disney for naming an underwater mermaid Ariel. Can’t we all see the similarities? I mean, if I am trying to find an Ariel doll for my daughter, of course I would be confused by the striking similarities of the Disney princess and the largest “Minority Owned Investment Firm”. Better get cracking, Mr. Rogers, or a whole generation of Disney watchers will probably not invest with you. And your Constitutional Law Instructor friend will have to help you with another suit.
Come on guys, you really think that if you name a RIA firm with the same lead name as a major mutual fund company (and its affiliated RIA) that you are going to be able to do that. I seriously doubt that naming a RIA “Vanguard Capital Advisers” would work. Rule one in naming a firm is to search the trademark data base for the name. Had Mr. Bray done so, he would have found there are already several companies who have variants of his LLC’s name, and as an attorney I would guess he would have gladly defended any of them against another firm in the same business using the copyrighted name or something quite close to it.
Had he stayed local and not used the name on an interstate basis he would likely have had a basis, but given that Ariel has several copyright registrations, he is on very shaky ground. There is a simple fact here. “Ariel” as a lead name for a firm providing investment advice and management has been taken since 1983 and has the copyright registrations to prove it. More, they have already successfully defended the name as non-generic, so they have case law backing them up. In the settlement you mention in the article, note that the turtle disappeared as part of the settlement. The smart thing to do would be to simply recognize that that name was already in use and agree to change to another, hopefully original, name.