Members 1st Federal Credit Union in Mechanicsburg, Pa., fresh off a trademark infringement claim with a local bank, filed a new lawsuit Friday against Merrick Bank in South Jordan, Utah.
The $1.12 billion-asset bank recently began soliciting credit cards in Members 1st's markets using a similar "M" trademark incorporating the numeral 1.
The $2 billion-asset credit union said the bank's entry into its market poses a threat to its own reputation because area consumers will mistake Merrick Bank's solicitation for its own.
Members 1st is particularly concerned about possible damage to its reputation, because Merrick Bank has been the subject of customer complaints and had been cited by the Better Business Bureau of Southern Utah.
"Merrick's use of a confusingly similar trademark in connection with its products is a willful attempt to trade upon the good will that Members 1st had developed in its trademark through its many years of use," the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit came five weeks after Members 1st settled a trademark lawsuit filed in 2009 against Metro Bank in Lemoyne, Pa. The bank agreed to change the color of its "M" logo from the same red as the credit union's trademarked "M." The logos were similar but not identical.
Members 1st said it has a valid trademark on its red-letter "M" that it received from the U.S. Office of Patent and Trademarks in 2006.
The credit union's lawyers sent Merrick Bank a letter in March requesting that the bank stop using the similar "M" but have yet to receive a response, according to the suit.
Members 1st is asking the court for the extraordinary remedy of ordering Merrick Bank to recall and destroy all of its credit and debit cards and promotional material in the local market using the "M."
Officials at the bank were not immediately available for comment.