In the suit, filed March 29 with the United States District Court in Vermont, the smaller agency claims to have trademarked the name in 1995 for use in "marketing, advertising, consulting, public relations, product naming and branding, event management and other areas." There is, however, no apparent evidence that Fuse has sought similar litigation against a full-service agency called Fuse in St. Louis, Mo., or Fuse Interactive in Laguna Beach, Calif.
Already been up and running?
While spokeswomen for both entities declined comment, a recent press release for the new Omnicom division stated, "The Fuse network of sports and entertainment companies now has offices in more than 20 countries across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific," suggesting the company had been up and running for some time. However, the four companies Omnicom Media Group has folded together to create its Fuse do not contain the Fuse name themselves.
The Vermont Fuse, well-known for its work with Mountain Dew in the past and continuing work with the winter X-Games, states in the complaint that is it concerned about "confusion in the marketplace." The worry is that consumers will either think the two companies are associated or will accidentally seek out the wrong firm.
The independent shop is seeking both an injunction against Omnicom's use of the name and monetary compensation for attorney's fees and "all gains, profits and advantages realized" by the Omnicom shop while using the Fuse name.