Uber hit with trademark lawsuit over new travel services

FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the company logo for Uber Technologies Inc in 2019
A screen displays the company logo for Uber Technologies Inc at the New York Stock Exchange in New York,REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
  • UberRE said Uber Technologies plans to expand into travel booking
  • Rideshare giant's plans allegedly infringe real-estate co's trademark

(Reuters) - A California company sued Uber Technologies Inc in San Francisco federal court on Thursday, accusing the rideshare giant of violating its trademark rights with a new "Uber Travel" trademark application and services that would unfairly compete with its real estate business.

UberRE Inc's lawsuit said it bought an "Über" trademark for real-estate services in 2017 and uses the name on software for booking travel accommodations. It claimed damages of over $250 billion, more than five times Uber Technologies' current market capitalization.

Uber Technologies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

UberRE advertises vacation rentals though an "UberBnB" app, as well as through a website that prominently describes its trademark ownership and compares its business history with Uber Technologies. UberRE Inc chairman Brent Ritz told Reuters that Uber Technologies had breached an agreement with the company that he declined to detail.

Uber Technologies announced last month that it would begin providing services for booking long-distance travel by train in the United Kingdom starting this summer, and add flight booking there later this year and hotel booking in the future.

The company applied to register a U.S. trademark for "Uber Travel" covering travel booking in January, though its U.K. press release did not use that name or mention plans to provide similar services in the United States.

UberRE said in the lawsuit that Uber Technologies has infringed its trademark and will cause consumer confusion by offering competing services.

Uber Technologies was previously sued by New York ad agency Uber Inc over its planned expansion into the advertising business. The companies resolved that dispute in November.

The case is UberRE Inc v. Uber Technologies Inc, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:22-cv-02806.

For UberRE: Thomas Stanton of the Stanton IP Law Firm

For Uber Technologies: not applicable

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Uber resolves trademark dispute with similarly named NYC ad agency

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Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, for Reuters Legal. He has previously written for Bloomberg Law and Thomson Reuters Practical Law and practiced as an attorney. Contact: 12029385713