* U.S. university files lawsuit against Cisco over trademark
* Says has used tagline for over a decade, seeks damages
* Cisco surprised by complaint, says campaign does not
Jan 11 East Carolina University (ECU) has filed
a lawsuit against Cisco Systems Inc over the use of its
registered trademark "Tomorrow Starts Here", which is central to
the network equipment company's new marketing campaign.
The U.S. university said on Friday that it is seeking
damages for unauthorized use of the trademark, which it said is
"a university-wide brand that represents an overlapping field of
goods and services when compared with that of Cisco".
"ECU has used the mark 'Tomorrow Starts Here' for over a
decade, including in national advertisements and publications
such as Forbes and Wired," Chancellor Steve Ballard said in a
A Cisco spokeswoman said the complaint came as a surprise.
"Cisco takes intellectual property rights very seriously,
and we are confident that our new campaign does not create any
confusion in the marketplace," she said in an email.
Cisco kicked off a $100 million marketing campaign using the
slogan on Dec. 10 in an effort to position itself as a broader
information technology company as it seeks to expand its
software and services offerings.
"Tomorrow Starts Here is our new tagline, we're going to
have a global integrated campaign with print and television
advertising, a lot of digital marketing, social media, public
relations, a whole integrated approach to this," Cisco's brand
chief Blair Christie told TheStreet.com last month.
Cisco had previously used the tagline "The human network".