United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division
C. WIMES JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff Co-Mo Comm, Inc.'s Motion for
Preliminary Injunction (Doc. #2). The Court, being duly
advised of the premises, denies said motion.
Co-Mo Comm, Inc. (“Co-Mo”) asserts claims against
Defendant City of Columbia, Missouri (“City”)
related to the use of the “CO-MO CONNECT” mark.
Co-Mo seeks a preliminary injunction against the City's
use of “COMO CONNECT” as the tradename for its
bus system. The Court held a hearing and received evidence on
the motion for preliminary injunction on January 24, 2017.
stipulated by the parties, Co-Mo and Co-Mo Electric
Cooperative, Inc. are Missouri corporations with their
principal places of business in Tipton, Missouri. Co-Mo is a
wholly-owned subsidiary of Co-Mo Electric. The City is a
municipal Missouri corporation, located within Boone County,
parent company, Co-Mo Electric, has conducted business under
the same name since 1939. In 2010, Co-Mo's board approved
a pilot project to make fiber-to-home broadband network
services available in certain parts of Co-Mo Electric's
service area. This network service project was referred to as
Co-Mo Connect, in association with Co-Mo Electric's brand
goodwill, and in description of network services that were
intended to connect homes in rural areas to highspeed fiber
broadband network connections elsewhere. Co-Mo began
soliciting customers using the Co-Mo Connect mark as early as
February 2011. Co-Mo registered the mark under federal law as
of July 7, 2015 and under Missouri law as of March 25, 2015,
in reference to its Co-Mo Connect-branded internet,
television, and telephone services. The mark is displayed as:
maintains a website for its Co-Mo Connect products and
services, http://www.co-mo.net/Co-MoConnect, which shows the
above Co-Mo Connect mark throughout.
2013, the City proposed a plan to overhaul its bus transit
system. The proposed project involved changing existing
routes, as well as re-branding. The City referred to this
initiative as COMO CONNECT, and did not undertake a formal
trademark search before using COMO CONNECT publicly in
August 2013, a City employee conducted a web search to
determine whether the domain name comoconnect.com was
available. In the course of this search, the City learned of
Co-Mo's website, and the attendant use of the Co-Mo
Connect mark in connection with Co-Mo's communications
products and services. The City did not contact Co-Mo upon
February 17, 2014, the City approved the bus system
improvement initiative for implementation. On June 2, 2014,
the City formally rebranded the bus system update as COMO
CONNECT, which went operational on August 4, 2014. The City
promoted the bus transit improvement initiative using the
following mark that was designed in cooperation with a
college marketing class:
COMO CONNECT mark appears in the City's advertisements
for the bus system overhaul, on the buses and stops within
the system, and the bus system website,
City's COMO CONNECT mark and associated services are
unrelated to Co-Mo's Co-Mo Connect mark and associated
services, and vice versa. On October 1, 2015, Co-Mo sent a
letter to the City about its use of COMO CONNECT. The City
did not respond.
December 3, 2015, Co-Mo sent the City a cease and desist
letter in reference to the City's use of COMO CONNECT.
The City sent a written response to this letter on February
22, 2016, after meeting with Co-Mo's CEO, Ken Johnson.
Co-Mo has used and is continuing to use its registered mark