Foley v Foley forces rebrand

Milwaukee-based firm Foley & Lardner is reviewing its shorthand moniker and marketing material following a trademark infringement dispute with Boston-based firm Foley Hoag.

Foley Hoag sued Foley & Lardner last October for the use of the term ‘Foley’ in its marketing materials.

However, a US federal district court dismissed the dispute earlier this month after it emerged that the firms were close to a settlement. The dismissal order gives the firms one year to reopen the case if a settlement is not finalised.

Foley & Lardner is now understood to be considering changes to its abbreviated name (currently Foley) and marketing material as part of the settlement agreement.

Foley & Lardner general counsel Jim Clark said the firm was “talking about a standard that would be employed here that would avoid disputes on a going-forward basis”.

The dispute stems from what Foley Hoag described as confusion and incidents of mistaken identity created by Foley & Lardner’s use of the term ‘Foley’.

In 2004 the US Patent and Trademark Office rejected Foley & Lardner’s request to trademark ‘Foley’ as its moniker on the grounds that it could cause confusion with Foley Hoag, which had trademarked its name in 2002. However, Foley & Lardner continued to use ‘Foley’ on its website and marketing material.