Jan 142013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

East Carolina University announced on Friday that it has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Cisco Systems Inc. for what it considers unauthorized use of ECU’s slogan “Tomorrow Starts Here.”

ECU began using the federally registered trademark more than 10 years ago, Chancellor Steve Ballard said in a news release issued on Friday morning.

Cisco, based in San Francisco, is one of the world’s largest makers of computer networking systems. It launched an advertising campaign in December with using the slogan “Tomorrow Starts Here” as its centerpiece, the release said.

ECU’s complaint alleges that Cisco’s use of the identical mark infringes both ECU’s federally registered and common law trademark rights.

“ECU has used the mark ‘Tomorrow Starts Here’ for over a decade, including in national advertisements and publications such as Forbes and Wired,” Ballard said. “We feel it is essential to take action to protect that defining trademark of our identity and vision.”

“Tomorrow Starts Here” is a university-wide brand that represents an overlapping field of goods and services when compared with that of Cisco, the release said.

For example, research initiatives through ECU’s College of Technology and Computer Science have created products and intellectual property that are actively being commercialized.

ECU also is a leader in the field of distance education technology that is heavily promoted through ECU’s global online education program using the mark “Tomorrow Starts Here.”

Cisco Public Relations Representative Kristin Carvell denied any unauthorized use.

“We were surprised to learn that East Carolina University filed a complaint this morning,” she said. “Cisco takes intellectual property rights very seriously, and we are confident that our new campaign does not create any confusion in the marketplace.”

Cisco unveiled its new marketing campaign, “Internet of Everything,” on Dec. 10. The campaign, developed with branding and advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners out of San Francisco, uses the tagline “Tomorrow Starts Here” and uses that tagline throughout its campaign as a standalone website and the Twitter hashtag #tomorrowstartshere.

via The Daily Reflector.


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