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Trademark Suit Over Am Trust Name

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The St. Petersburg Times reports that Ohio Savings Bank, which trademarked the name “Am Trust” in 1987 and formed a Boca Raton, Florida subsidiary, AmTrust Bank, in 1999, is taking legal action against Dan Hicks, who formed AmTrust Funding Services in 2002.

After giving Hicks multiple warnings, Ohio Savings recently filed suit in federal court in Tampa, demanding that Hick’s company not only stop using the name “AmTrust,” but also pay related damages and legal fees incurred.

The trademark lawsuit alleges that Hicks’ use of the name AmTrust capitalizes on Ohio Savings marketing efforts, misleading consumers into believing that both companies are related.

Hicks was sent three cease-and-desist letters starting in August 2005 that went unanswered. The three letters, unlike the present lawsuit, only requested the name change, not damages or attorney’s fees.

The two parties are in the process of discussing a resolution, with Hicks considering a name change, despite the cost estimated at tens of thousands of dollars.

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