Fast-food giant Subway has sued an India-based company for $8 million, claiming it’s infringing on the chain’s federal trademarks.
In its federal lawsuit filed Friday in Connecticut, Subway, whose national headquarters is in Milford, claims Mobiquest Mobile Technologies PVT LTD is making money by “prominently” displaying Subway markings in its mobile applications. Subway, which has 29,000 restaurants nationwide, states in its 12-page lawsuit that there is an inference of a relationship between the two companies when none exits.
In its lawsuit, Subway claims it’s “never sponsored or endorsed any good or service offered by defendant” and alleges that Mobiquest’s continued use of its images has caused Subway “irreparable harm.”
Mobiquest, which is located in Noida, India, is the developer of mobile phone apps for Android devices that are available for download through the Google Play store.
The lawsuit claims the following applications violate Subway’s trademarks: Sub Fresh Rewards mLoyal APP; SUBlovers mLoyal APP; and My Star Club mLoyal APP. The lawsuit includes links to the apps in question.
The SUBLover mloyal page states the “APP is the loyalty and rewards APP for its members. It allows you to collect points, redeem awards, get personalized offers, news and updates.” On the page, there is a picture of a sub depicted with the words “footlong” above it, a common theme in Subway’s marketing.
The lawsuit states that “the defendant’s unauthorized use of plaintiff’s mark is likely to cause confusion” among consumers. And, the lawsuit claims, Subway sent written cease and desist orders on at least three occasions to no avail. The India-based company “continues to willfully infringe plaintiff’s Mark,” according to the complaint.
Subway claims Mobiquest violated the Lanham Act with regard to trademark infringement and unfair competition and is in violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. In addition to the $8 million, Subway is seeking an order permanently enjoining the foreign company from further advertising, marketing and promoting “any good or service that is confusingly similar” to Subway’s brand.
The suit was filed Friday, but a judge has yet to be assigned the case.
Attorney Walter B. Welsh, who is affiliated with the Stamford-based Whitmyer IP Group LLC, represents Subway. Welsh declined to comment Monday.
No one from Mobiquest could be reached for comment.