Bose sues CEDIA over trademark

CEDIA began using “Electronic Lifestyles” in 1995 in connection with the association’s non-profit activities. In 1998 and 1999, CEDIA received four federal trademark registrations for “ElectronicLifestyles.”

Bose, which is a CEDIA member, markets a line of loudspeakers known as “Lifestyle®.” In its suit, Bose claims that CEDIA’s “Electronic Lifestyles” trademark so resembles Bose’s “Lifestyle” trademarkas to cause confusion. CEDIA denies that confusion exists or is likely, and CEDIA is defending the proceeding vigorously.

Ray Lepper, CEDIA’s President, said: “We are extremely disappointed that Bose has taken this drastic action to cancel CEDIA’s trademark registrations. CEDIA is a non-profit trade associationdedicated to improving our members’ businesses and promoting the custom electronic industry. CEDIA does not manufacture or sell loudspeakers – or any physical product under the “ElectronicLifestyles” trademark. We believe it is ludicrous for Bose to maintain that our trade association’s “Electronic Lifestyles” mark could give rise to confusion based on Bose’s “Lifestyle” line ofloudspeakers.

“Moreover,” continued Lepper, “this association has been built by the long, tireless efforts of thousands of volunteers and sponsors, and to have our trademark challenged in this manner by one of ourvery own members is very disturbing. To sue one’s own association is wholly inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation and sacrifice that is the hallmark of the true CEDIA member.”

Bose is known in industry circles to be very litigious especially in terms of trademark issues. One executive at a direct competitor of Bose tells that Bose once threatened to sueanother speaker company, THIEL Loudspeakers, over using “.2” in the suffix of a speaker name because it could have possibly infringed on a Bose trademark. With the six figure price tag of a legaldefense, many small companies have no choice but to avoid conflict with the loudspeaker giant and their in-house legal team. CEDIA says they will not back down in this dispute.

Source: AudioRevolution