In one of the strangest, yet popular stories of the year, the ongoing case against CoMo Connect, our local bus service may be drawing to a close as the city decides it would be easier to just rebrand than to continue on the route leading to a drawn-out case of trademark infringement. The whole debacle began as another local Missouri business, an electric co-op found the name of the transit service to be a little too similar to their name, leading to the suit being filed.
One thing that needs to be brought to the attention of those thinking this may be petty first though, is that it’s a necessity when you own a trademark. You see, when registering for your trademark, one of the stipulations of ownership, is that you will take action if you feel that it is being infringed upon. How can a court take your case seriously if you’ve allowed others to use something of similar nature without attempting to protect your ownership? This is the majority of the reason why we see cases like this as often as we do in the news today.
This behavior is very commonly seen in music. When a hook, or a line, or otherwise seems to strike a sense of familiarity. The reason behind the action was clear, and it was within the rights and responsibilities of the co-op to try and protect its brand. Where we are now though, is the decision on whether or not to continue fighting for the name when it comes to our transit system. It’s not uncommon for a court to agree on a newcomer to the trademark to be able to take over, and nor is it uncommon to have two locations of similar names.
The way this comes about though is through months, and even years of litigation, and the one thing that is constant through that drawn-out situation, is cost, and that cost will be reflected in the pocket books of the citizens of Columbia, and in the fares of those taking part in the transit system, therefore the easiest means that our city can take, is to simply rebrand, spend the money on making the transit system its own identity, and not waste money in trying to hold the rights to a name that’s, alright.
Instead, the city plans to move forward with the rebranding effort, dropping the name CoMo Connect in favor of GoCOMO, which admittedly, is about the same in the rank of great names, but a lot easier in the fact that we don’t have to battle for it. Whether you’ve liked, or at least gotten used to the old name, or are a fan of the new one, the end result is that the matter seems to have seen resolution. We can all go about our lives, and enjoy our transit on the newly named system, and put the whole debacle behind us.