What’s in a Name? Musings on a Pending Lawsuit

Posted on September 1, 1986 by Maury Sutton, LCT Publisher

This month’s Limo Scene section contains an article concerning a recently filed lawsuit on be half of Celebrity Limousine Service Corporation of New York against Celebrity Limousine of Taylor Mill, Kentucky. In the initial filing, Celebrity (of New York) claims the “continued use of ‘Celebrity Limousine’ will continue to cause confusion and deception to the trade and the public” and “will cause serious and irreparable damage to the plaintiff’s business and reputation.”

Now, the distance from New York City to Taylor Mill (a town near Cincinnati) must be about 700 miles as the crow flies. I can’t wait to find out how many New Yorkers, or Kentuckians for that matter, were confused by the two Celebrities.

This is an important matter. Well, maybe it’s only important to the Celebrity Limousine Services operating in Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans and elsewhere. Then again, I would think that those of you with limousine services names Star, Executive, Luxury, A-1, or VIP Limousines, to name only a few, would be interested in this lawsuit as well.

By the way, I wonder if a Gino’s Pizza in New York ever sued a Gino’s Pizza in Kentucky, claiming service mark infringement and confusion.

On another note, when an industry becomes a well-known “celebrity” as the limousine industry has over the past two years, a number of parties may want to get a piece of the action - most notably the government through taxes. Most recently, the Los Angeles Department of Airports is taking a closer look at limousine operators.

The agency is considering a measure that will require limousine operators to pay a $1,000 annual fee per vehicle in order to pick up at the airport. A number of Los Angeles-area services have banded together to fight the partial fee, and we hope to report a final decision in November.

If you read the memo distributed by the Los Angeles Department of Airports, you’ll note it states “many airports are currently reevaluating their own programs. Well, that’s interesting. We might suggest that when doing so, airport officials should take a look at the Dallas/Ft. Worth system. At the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport, everyone pays. Both commercial carriers and private parties are subject to access fees that begin at 50 cents. If you stay more than an hour, the fee is $2.00. (At least the Dallas/Ft. Worth system), seems equitable while we can’t say that about Los Angeles’ proposed program.


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