In a lawsuit that could raise some taxpayers' eyebrows, CNN Money is reporting that Citigroup recently sued a Brooklyn, N.Y., pawn shop called "All Citi Pawn" over the use of the Citi abbreviation and a logo that Citigroup claims infringes on their intellectual property rights. Citigroup is seeking the entirety of All Citi Pawn shop's profits since it adopted the All Citi name.
All Citi's manager Bob Kay explained the differences between the logos to CNN, "Theirs is a moon shape, mine is a V-shape".
This news might not sit very well with New Yorkers, considering a Reuters report in November on how outraged New Yorkers were by the federal government's bailout of the company:
In a random sample of people inside the Port Authority, the world's busiest bus terminal, only one man backed the government decision to prop up the New York-based bank, even though it is a huge employer in the region.
At that time, the federal government had announced a $20 billion handout for the company as well as a "plan to shoulder most of its potential losses on $306 billion of toxic assets, after the bank's shares sank more than 60 percent in the previous week due to concern about its ability to survive."
Citigroup would say only that "as a matter of course, we work to protect the value of our trademarks." It should be noted that it is unclear at this point what steps, if any, Citigroup took to resolve the matter prior to suing. Usually companies and attorneys in these types of situations try to work it out with the alleged trademark or copyright offenders prior to initiating a lawsuit. In the meantime, Bob Kay indicated that they have removed the offending signage with the logo, but also says that has not resolved the case.