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Foley & Lardner settled a trademark infringement lawsuit brought by Foley Hoag by agreeing to change its use of the word Foley in advertisements and other written and oral communications. Foley & Lardner, which has its largest office in Milwaukee, agreed not to use a logo with the word “Foley” unless Foley & Lardner is displayed prominently and in close proximity. The firm also agreed not to call itself “Foley” in written or oral communications unless the context made it clear that it was referring to Foley & Lardner. The settlement preserves Foley Hoag’s brand name, said Foley Hoag’s co-managing partner Robert Sanoff. “We think this settlement is as near a complete win for us as we could have [achieved],” Sanoff said. “Our reputation is something of enormous value to the firm. We will continue to use the name Foley.” Boston-based Foley Hoag registered its name as a service mark in 2002, which led the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to deny Foley & Lardner’s request to register “FOLEY” as a trademark in 2004. ‘Confusion of clients’ Foley Hoag sued Foley & Lardner in U.S. District Court in Boston in 2005, following the publication of Foley & Lardner advertisements that used the word Foley. The court dismissed the case in July after hearing from both sides that a settlement was imminent. Foley Hoag LLP v. Foley & Lardner, No. 05-12106 (D. Mass). Cases of mistaken identity and “confusion by potential clients, U.S. and foreign lawyers, and organizations that rate and compare law firms,” increased “exponentially” after Foley & Lardner opened a Boston office in February 2005. Both firms also have an office in Washington. Although Foley & Lardner disputes the notion that its marketing materials have created confusion, it has made minor modifications to marketing materials to “help avoid any future disagreements,” according to a statement made by the firm’s chairman and CEO, Ralf Boer. “We share an interest in avoiding any confusion,” said Boer, in a statement. “We have therefore worked with Foley Hoag to arrive at a business solution.”

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