A federal court in Massachusetts has granted a preliminary injunction to prevent TD Banknorth Inc. from operating under its new brand name, TD Commerce Bank, in some Bay State markets.

In March, Toronto-Dominion Bank bought Commerce Bancorp Inc. of Cherry Hill, N.J. and has said it plans eventually to merge it into TD Banknorth, its U.S. retail banking subsidiary. The Canadian bank plans to change the subsidiary's name to TD Commerce Bank, starting in the Commerce Bancorp markets this year and in TD Banknorth's markets next year.

However in a U.S. District Court lawsuit last month, Commerce Bank and Trust Corp. in Worcester, Mass., claimed the right to the Commerce brand. "The 'TD Commerce Bank' service mark is confusingly similar to the Commerce Bank's 'Commerce Bank' service mark," it argued. A TD Banknorth spokeswoman would not comment. The injunction was granted Friday.

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