User avatar
Web500sjc
Topic Author
Posts: 824
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:23 am

AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:08 am

https://www.law360.com/articles/1230308 ... -trademark


It seams AA is suing DL over the use of term “Flagship”. AA thinks that DLs use of the term in relation to DLs description of their own DL One suite in their “flagship a350s”, or their “flagship DL sky club in ATL” confuses customers who may be looking for AA’s “Flagship First Class”, “Flagship Lounge”, or “Flagship First Dining” services.

flagship seams to be a very clear description of an organizations best product, so while I understand AA may be upset about other airlines using this term, it is clearly an adjective used to describe products. Any thoughts?
Boiler Up!
 
User avatar
LAX772LR
Posts: 12833
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:06 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:10 am

Weak. Can probably hold your breath in the time it'll take for this to get tossed.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
jetmatt777
Posts: 4060
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:13 am

ironically, as with most things legal, the end outcome is not what was filed but for setting a precedent for something else.

Kid 1: "Teacher, he hit me and called me stupid"

Teacher: "Did you hit him?"

Kid 2: "Yes. He laughed at me"

Kid 1 just set precedent that he was called stupid because of the lack of denial.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15055
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:24 am

If it’s long established branding, and DL is in the same industry, AA has a valid case.

Calling an aircraft your flagship is one thing. But to extend it to onboard product and lounges when a main competitor has been using that branding for decades is not kosher.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
User avatar
gatibosgru
Posts: 1707
Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 2:48 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:27 am

AA has no claim imho
@DadCelo
 
KFTG
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:08 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:28 am

Their lawsuit is silly and is a waste of time and resources. The term "flagship" is ridiculous and is an old maritime term that serves no real purpose in the 21st century.
 
crownvic
Posts: 2559
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:16 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:30 am

If Delta capitalizes the "Flagship" word, I can see it being a problem. If they don't capitalize the "flagship" word, well AA may have a weak case.
 
WPvsMW
Posts: 2252
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:35 am

http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield ... :a4kku.3.1

AA will prevail. AA has owned the mark applied to "transportation of passengers and cargo by air" since registration of No. 3717509 in 2009.
 
MAH4546
Posts: 25976
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:37 am

LAX772LR wrote:
Weak. Can probably hold your breath in the time it'll take for this to get tossed.


No. This is very basic and simple trademark law. If AA has a valid trademark for “Flagship” in the travel service/aviation transportation industry not only will it absolutely not get tossed, AA will win easily. You can hold your breathe in the time it’ll take for AA to win this very basic trademark case.
a.
 
acentauri
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:35 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:41 am

Simple Solution, AA should Change the name of several premium offerings to "AA ONE" or even better, "FLAGSHIP ONE". Do it first at LAX and JFK. Then wait for DL's reply.
 
User avatar
lightsaber
Moderator
Posts: 18805
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:55 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:44 am

LAX772LR wrote:
Weak. Can probably hold your breath in the time it'll take for this to get tossed.

Agreed. Flagship is an old Nautical term and aviation has used nautical terms forever. I cannot imagine is is copy-writable.
IM messages to mods on warnings and bans will be ignored and nasty ones will result in a ban.
 
WPvsMW
Posts: 2252
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:52 am

Copyright law and trademark law are very different. The former has a "fair use" exemption, the latter does not. This is a "bright line" case, as litigators say. DL crossed the line.
 
ual763
Posts: 996
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 11:46 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:59 am

lightsaber wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Weak. Can probably hold your breath in the time it'll take for this to get tossed.

Agreed. Flagship is an old Nautical term and aviation has used nautical terms forever. I cannot imagine is is copy-writable.


I believe the difference though is in the branding. If Delta were just saying that the A350 is their “flagship”, then AA wouldn't really have a case. But, AA has used Flagship proudly as part of it’s brand for a LONG time. “Flagship Lounge”, Flagship First, Flagship Business, Flagship *insert city name here*. Flagship is American’s signature branding expression. Delta encroaching on the term as a marketing ploy, could definitely be construed as violating US trademark law. I believe AA will win this rather easily.
From flying to the NOTAM office
 
fedex1
Posts: 345
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:54 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:13 am

.... and this is what’s wrong with America! We sue endlessly . Get over it! Deliver a strong product, and deliver 1st class services and what do you have to worry about!? If all of America focused on what they can I do better, and quit all the court bs we would be much better off. My 2 cents which is worth nothing!!
 
zippy
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun May 11, 2014 9:46 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:13 am

MAH4546 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Weak. Can probably hold your breath in the time it'll take for this to get tossed.


No. This is very basic and simple trademark law. If AA has a valid trademark for “Flagship” in the travel service/aviation transportation industry not only will it absolutely not get tossed, AA will win easily. You can hold your breathe in the time it’ll take for AA to win this very basic trademark case.


AA has the trademark (#86488969) and it specifically applies to lounges, etc.

IC 039. US 100 105. G & S: Air transport of passengers; providing premium air transportation services for first class and business class passengers, namely, providing travel reservation services, namely, coordinating travel arrangements for individuals, providing air transportation reservation services, and providing vehicle reservation services; booking and arranging of access to airport lounges; airport services featuring transit lounge facilities for passenger relaxation and also including shower facilities. FIRST USE: 19360000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19360000


Delta either screwed up and some lawyer will be looking for a new job or they were hoping that they could invalidate the trademark. If you don't like the idea of generic words like flagship being used as a trademark, remember that the next time you vote.
 
fedex1
Posts: 345
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:54 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:14 am

This doesn’t go for just AA, this goes for EVERYTHING!
 
SFOtoORD
Posts: 1201
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:26 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:47 am

Web500sjc wrote:
https://www.law360.com/articles/1230308/american-airlines-sues-delta-over-flagship-trademark


It seams AA is suing DL over the use of term “Flagship”. AA thinks that DLs use of the term in relation to DLs description of their own DL One suite in their “flagship a350s”, or their “flagship DL sky club in ATL” confuses customers who may be looking for AA’s “Flagship First Class”, “Flagship Lounge”, or “Flagship First Dining” services.

flagship seams to be a very clear description of an organizations best product, so while I understand AA may be upset about other airlines using this term, it is clearly an adjective used to describe products. Any thoughts?


DL might actually be improving AAs brand in this case. :lol:
 
wjcandee
Posts: 8311
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:12 am

MAH4546 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Weak. Can probably hold your breath in the time it'll take for this to get tossed.


No. This is very basic and simple trademark law. If AA has a valid trademark for “Flagship” in the travel service/aviation transportation industry not only will it absolutely not get tossed, AA will win easily. You can hold your breathe in the time it’ll take for AA to win this very basic trademark case.


All of you "attorneys" haven't considered the fact that the applicable legal standard is "likelihood of confusion". Chances are AA is just doing it because it has an obligation to take steps to protect the mark, even if they figure they have a low probability of success. They'll sue in Fort Worth, where they can hometown DL.

The reality is that "Flagship" is a weak mark because it can be seen as descriptive. However, to the extent that AA has a trademark and uses it as a brand, they're entitled to protection. OTOH, it appears at first blush that DL is using it as a purely-descriptive term and not as a brand, which they would have the right to do.

The strength of the mark is important. In Florida, for example, in a lawsuit between SunTrust Bank and Sun Bank, the court observed that since so many businesses in Florida use the word "Sun" (Sun Pharmacy, Sun Drug, Sun Gas, Sun Porn, etc.), its value as a differentiator is low; people don't expect all businesses with Sun in the name to be a single source of goods or services. In the SunTrust vs Sun Bank case, even though there was evidence of *actual* confusion (people trying to cash a check from one bank at a branch of the other, and such), the Court found that the "likelihood of confusion" standard wasn't met.

How this comes out is going to depend on a number of facts that we don't know. My own impression is that virtually-nobody would be able to identify American as the provider of "Flagship" service, so if DL wants to say that its new flagship aircraft is the A350, I think a court would be hard-pressed to enjoin that. "Flagship Lounge" might be something that people recognize, but that's about it.

Importantly, if DL in a press release wants to talk about its "flagship Delta Sky Club in Atlanta", meaning its biggest, best one, I don't see an issue. If they put a sign on the door that says, "Flagship ATL Delta Sky Club", it's a closer call. But still, how many travelers would walk in there with a Flagship Lounge card and expect to be served? And that's the standard.

Again, gonna be fact-dependent.
 
usflyguy
Posts: 1757
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:29 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:26 am

gatibosgru wrote:
AA has no claim imho

LAX772LR wrote:
Weak. Can probably hold your breath in the time it'll take for this to get tossed.

KFTG wrote:
Their lawsuit is silly and is a waste of time and resources. The term "flagship" is ridiculous and is an old maritime term that serves no real purpose in the 21st century.


Where did you all go to law school?
My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
 
User avatar
LAX772LR
Posts: 12833
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:06 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:05 am

MAH4546 wrote:
If AA has a valid trademark for “Flagship” in the travel service/aviation transportation industry not only will it absolutely not get tossed

No way. All revolves around use, and to claim use for anything air-travel related (not to say specifically that AA is doing that) would be far too nebulous.

As I'm sure you know, court's going to look at degree of similarity in the marks (or perceived use of the mark) + likelihood of confusion among consumers due to such similarity in use.

Good luck to AA convincing them that simply calling the newest/biggest machine in your fleet a "flagship," which is the most generic use of the word possible, is likely to elicit brand confusion with a lounge/service product.




lightsaber wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Weak. Can probably hold your breath in the time it'll take for this to get tossed.

Agreed. Flagship is an old Nautical term and aviation has used nautical terms forever.

:checkmark: Airbus has in the past also utilized the term for initial A380 marketing both stateside and worldwide. An argument for generical adoption can conceivably be made.




lightsaber wrote:
I cannot imagine is is copy-writable.

It can be copyrighted, that's not in question, but:

    wjcandee wrote:
    The reality is that "Flagship" is a weak mark because it can be seen as descriptive . . . it appears at first blush that DL is using it as a purely-descriptive term and not as a brand, which they would have the right to do.
:checkmark: :checkmark: :checkmark:




usflyguy wrote:
Where did you all go to law school?

Southwestern (stateside) and UBC (Canada)

How about you? :roll:
Last edited by LAX772LR on Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 14599
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:10 am

usflyguy wrote:

Where did you all go to law school?


Every person that goes to law school does not graduate at the top of the class.

Any US airline that operates internationally is a U.S. flag air carrier under the 1958 FAA Act. Flagship has been in common use on air and sea travel for so long, hard to see how such a trademark could be seen as being unique to AA.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
KFTG
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:08 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:27 am

How can AA copyright a word? Give me a break.
It is a nautical term. Get over it.
AA has bigger things to worry about...
 
jghealey
Posts: 167
Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 5:46 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:42 am

It's not just DL that uses flagship... so many other airlines and even companies not restricted to airlines will surely be using the exact same term
 
MAH4546
Posts: 25976
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:09 am

LAX772LR wrote:
MAH4546 wrote:
If AA has a valid trademark for “Flagship” in the travel service/aviation transportation industry not only will it absolutely not get tossed

No way. All revolves around use, and to claim use for anything air-travel related (not to say specifically that AA is doing that) would be far too nebulous.

As I'm sure you know, court's going to look at degree of similarity in the marks (or perceived use of the mark) + likelihood of confusion among consumers due to such similarity in use.

Good luck to AA convincing them that simply calling the newest/biggest machine in your fleet a "flagship," which is the most generic use of the word possible, is likely to elicit brand confusion with a lounge/service product.
:


I am making the assumption that Delta is using it a branding fashion, which I’m assuming is accurate otherwise AA wouldn’t waste it’s time suing. Easy case for AA if Delta is marketing the A350 as “Flagship Service.”
a.
 
Toinou
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:21 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:14 am

Maybe someone should copyright the word "plane" and sue all those airlines.
 
snasteve
Posts: 100
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:58 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:19 am

KFTG wrote:
Their lawsuit is silly and is a waste of time and resources. The term "flagship" is ridiculous and is an old maritime term that serves no real purpose in the 21st century.


It may seem silly but it’s not really a waste of time. That’s what the courts are literally for. Which apparently is not a silly matter for American Airlines. Also the courts have plenty of time for this. Now that the bulk of disputes are handled in private arbitration.
 
ryanov
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:38 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:53 am

Have never noticed it in the context of AA.
 
washingtonflyer
Posts: 1597
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:45 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:02 am

Flagship First refers to AA's first class product on 3-class 77W jets. Flagship Lounges are AA's premium lounges located in certain cities and typically reserved for international premium class passengers and elite FFs.

AA is wholly justified in protecting its trademarked product in these segments. Those who say a court will toss this immediately or that the claim is "weak" have no idea what they are talking about, or have only been in a court to address a speeding ticket.
 
PANAMsterdam
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:45 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:36 am

AA could trademark the word "Flagship" for an exclusive use in the aviation world, but if i wanted to start a shipping company and say boat X is named "Flagship Amsterdam", AA cannot sue me because AA uses it for an airplane/airline, and I use it for a shipping company.

Same with Microsoft trademarking the word "Windows". I cannot start a software business and use the word "Windows" in any of my software products. But if my shipping and software businesses are doing well and I want to build a new house, i don't have to contact a building company for some "glass things in my wall", but i can ask comfortably to put some "Windows" in my wall :D
Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away!
 
washingtonflyer
Posts: 1597
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:45 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:00 am

PANAMsterdam wrote:
AA could trademark the word "Flagship" for an exclusive use in the aviation world, but if i wanted to start a shipping company and say boat X is named "Flagship Amsterdam", AA cannot sue me because AA uses it for an airplane/airline, and I use it for a shipping company.


Its not that AA could; AA -already- has. DL now comes in and markets a competing service as "flagship".

Same industry; direct competitors; similar products.

Again, anyone saying that this is a "weak" case has no idea what they're talking about.

Image
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 14599
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:01 am

washingtonflyer wrote:
Flagship First refers to AA's first class product on 3-class 77W jets. Flagship Lounges are AA's premium lounges located in certain cities and typically reserved for international premium class passengers and elite FFs.

AA is wholly justified in protecting its trademarked product in these segments. Those who say a court will toss this immediately or that the claim is "weak" have no idea what they are talking about, or have only been in a court to address a speeding ticket.


Flagship is hardly a unique word, there was even a US Airline called Flagship Airlines flying around well before AA registered the mark.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flagshi ... light_3379

Flagship is a descriptive word across many industries to describe a companies best product.

According to the USPTO

“ Strong v. Weak Marks
In addition to selecting a mark that is not likely to be confused with any pre-existing marks, it is in your best interest to select a mark that is considered “strong” in a legal or trademark sense, i.e., a mark that will most easily allow you to prevent third-party use of your mark. Some marks are easier to protect than others and these are considered “strong” marks.

On the other hand, if a mark is “weak,” it most likely is descriptive and others are already using it to describe their goods or services, making it difficult and costly to try to police and protect. Weak marks should be avoided; they simply do not have the same legal protections of a stronger and more distinctive mark.

Generally, marks fall into one of four categories: fanciful or arbitrary, suggestive, descriptive, or generic. The category your mark falls into will significantly impact both its registrability and your ability to enforce your rights in the mark.

The strongest and most easily protectable types of marks are fanciful marks and arbitrary marks, because they are inherently distinctive. Fanciful marks are invented words with no dictionary
or other known meaning. Arbitrary marks are actual words with a known meaning that have no association/relationship with the goods protected. Fanciful and arbitrary marks are registrable and, indeed, are more likely to get registered than are descriptive marks. Moreover, because these types of marks are creative and unusual, it is less likely that others are using them.

Examples of fanciful and arbitrary marks:
Fanciful: BELMICO for “insurance services”
Arbitrary: BANANA for “tires”
Suggestive marks suggest, but do not describe, qualities or a connection to the goods or services. Suggestive marks are registrable and are also considered “strong” marks. If you do not choose a fanciful or arbitrary mark, a suggestive mark is your next best option.
Examples of suggestive marks:
QUICK N’ NEAT for “pie crust”
GLANCE-A-DAY for “calendars”
Descriptive marks are words or designs (e.g., depiction of a television for “television repair services”) that describe the goods and/or services. Such marks are generally considered “weaker” and therefore more difficult to protect than fanciful and arbitrary marks. If the USPTO determines that a mark is “merely descriptive,” then it is not registrable or protectable on the Principal Register unless it acquires distinctiveness-- generally through extensive use in commerce over a five-year period or longer. Descriptive marks are considered “weak” until they have acquired distinctiveness.
Applicants often choose (frequently at the suggestion of marketing professionals) descriptive marks for their goods and/or services, believing that such marks reduce the need for expensive consumer education and advertising because consumers can immediately identify the product or service being offered directly from the mark. This approach, while perhaps logical marketing advice, often leads to marks that cannot be easily protected, i.e., to extremely weak trademark rights. That is, a descriptive mark may not be registrable or protectable against later users of identical or similar marks; therefore, adoption of a descriptive mark may end up costing more money in the long term, either due to higher costs to try to police and enforce such a mark, or because it may be legally necessary to stop using the descriptive mark and select a new mark.”
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
washingtonflyer
Posts: 1597
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:45 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:31 am

I'll give you a perfect example of a common use trademark word that has sparked major battles: Prime.
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 14599
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:45 am

washingtonflyer wrote:
I'll give you a perfect example of a common use trademark word that has sparked major battles: Prime.


Do you have an example where a court has stated the descriptive use of the word prime or flagship is a trademark infringement ?

Filing lawsuits hoping the other party will just give up on the commercial cost of litigation and the reality of it being an infringement are totally different objectives.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
Ziyulu
Posts: 703
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:35 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:05 am

AA should also sue DL for charging checked baggage fees since it was AA who started it.
 
Cointrin330
Posts: 1450
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:23 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:39 pm

Pretty ironic that Delta has to "borrow" a page from the AA playbook and use the term "Flagship". AA does use the Flagship name and has for decades, across its premium offering, including the Lounges and loosely, First and Business Class on intercontinental routes (First on the 77W which is the only AA plane that has it other than the A321T). If American Airlines were to focus on making a few modest improvements to its premium offering, that would be a good thing. While the business class seats are inconsistent across the 77W, 772, 788, 789, A332/A333 and 757/A321T fleets, they could add some in-cabin branding on the walls, serve better food, find more recognizable brands for the amenity kits, and add a few other soft touches similar to what they did with the Flagship lounges and they would probably solve half their perception problem and operate a premium offering more on par with Delta's enhanced Delta One cabins. Delta creates the illusion of a premium product but having flown Delta One a few times this year (JFK-LAX, DTW-ICN on the A350, and JFK-CDG on the A330), the two are actually more or less the same. Flight attendants range from pleasant to condescending on both carriers. Food on Delta is about average. The presentation is just a bit better. Delta's SkyClubs are absolutely no match for the United Polaris and American Flagship lounges, and are often overcrowded, have mediocre food, and do not feel premium at all. Delta is a master of spin and has is more profitable, but product wise, they're about the same.
 
Packson
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 2:27 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:25 pm

AA is hoping the courts can provide them a win aganist Delta this year....Because Delta has been taking AA to the woodshed for years... both in terms of operation and financial.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 6588
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:41 pm

There's all kinds of trademark stupidity. See Ohio State trying to trademark 'the,' as in The Ohio State University.
 
washingtonflyer
Posts: 1597
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:45 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:20 pm

zeke wrote:
washingtonflyer wrote:
I'll give you a perfect example of a common use trademark word that has sparked major battles: Prime.


Do you have an example where a court has stated the descriptive use of the word prime or flagship is a trademark infringement ?

Filing lawsuits hoping the other party will just give up on the commercial cost of litigation and the reality of it being an infringement are totally different objectives.


Neither of those two have -as far as I know- reached a verdict.

But other things have:

The world "realtor" is used in the USA and Canada to refer to a real estate agent. It is a trademarked worked of the National Association of Realtors and it has successfully defended its trademark. Paris Hilton has successfully defended her trademark over the phrase "That's hot" against at least one entity that sought to capitalize on the phrase. In the tech world, the reference to the world "Face" has been granted trademark protection to Facebook.
 
Eagleboy
Posts: 1749
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:29 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:35 pm

KFTG wrote:
Their lawsuit is silly and is a waste of time and resources. The term "flagship" is ridiculous and is an old maritime term that serves no real purpose in the 21st century.

I agree, seems petty and immature.

My previous airline always referred to their most presitgious route as "the flagship". It was the one that was watched mostly closely for delays.
 
VS11
Posts: 1519
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2001 6:34 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:38 pm

This is a pretty straightforward case for AA. "Flagship" in their case is a product line name. If another airline started selling premium economy class called "Comfort+" DL will be up in arms as well.
 
JAMBOJET
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:23 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:30 pm

washingtonflyer wrote:
PANAMsterdam wrote:
AA could trademark the word "Flagship" for an exclusive use in the aviation world, but if i wanted to start a shipping company and say boat X is named "Flagship Amsterdam", AA cannot sue me because AA uses it for an airplane/airline, and I use it for a shipping company.


Its not that AA could; AA -already- has. DL now comes in and markets a competing service as "flagship".

Same industry; direct competitors; similar products.

Again, anyone saying that this is a "weak" case has no idea what they're talking about.

Image

Your photo is the most obvious reason why AA has a case. Delta is clearly using a trademarked term specific to the exact same industry and even describing the product with the same word.
The only reason anyone even thinks to use a 200 year old nautical term in the aviation industry today is because American has made its usage so common in application to the aviation premium product over many decades.
 
User avatar
tallen261
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 6:18 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:35 pm

I don’t pretend to know as much as an attorney or some of you pilots, but I used to work for AA. Even before that, as a child I remember AA using the term “flagship” in their advertising and on the sides of their planes (i.e., DC-10s were labeled Flagship XXX on the nose). When I was hired in reservations at AA we always identified the DC-10 flights as “flagship.” AA’s use of the word goes back decades (to the propeller era) and I’d be very surprised if they have not taken every legal step possible to protect it as a trademark or copyright, whichever is appropriate.
 
phatfarmlines
Posts: 1475
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2001 12:06 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:36 pm

Packson wrote:
AA is hoping the courts can provide them a win aganist Delta this year....Because Delta has been taking AA to the woodshed for years... both in terms of operation and financial.


:checkmark: This one gave me a laugh. Will be interesting to watch if this sets a precedent. IMO I think DL is actually helping AA brand their "Flagship" better.
 
KlimaBXsst
Posts: 622
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:14 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:41 pm

Sorry ... but without reading these posts Flagship has ALWAYS been part of American’s brandings.
Aesthetically the A 340 got it right!
 
JAMBOJET
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:23 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:48 pm

phatfarmlines wrote:
Packson wrote:
AA is hoping the courts can provide them a win aganist Delta this year....Because Delta has been taking AA to the woodshed for years... both in terms of operation and financial.


:checkmark: This one gave me a laugh. Will be interesting to watch if this sets a precedent. IMO I think DL is actually helping AA brand their "Flagship" better.

Putting a plastic door on a decades-old old J seat and using AA branding to sell it as a flagship product doesn’t change that it’s an old seat.
Calling a product flagship also doesn’t give Delta a premium flagship club, premium pre-flight dining or an international First product.
Nothing about Delta’s hard product is premium as it relates to the products AA terms flagship.

American uses the term Flagship on each of those items that Delta doesn’t have, at all. Which is probably why Delta is trying to use the term to confuse travelers about their lack of any of those premium offerings vs AA and UA.
Last edited by JAMBOJET on Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
rbavfan
Posts: 3467
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:53 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:52 pm

lightsaber wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Weak. Can probably hold your breath in the time it'll take for this to get tossed.

Agreed. Flagship is an old Nautical term and aviation has used nautical terms forever. I cannot imagine is is copy-writable.


Sadly it is. The fact they have used it to describe specific services, not to describe the plane it's self. There in makes the difference in service mark/trademark law. PETA won against the People eating tasty animals tee shirts because PETA was used bolded in the shirt at the start of each line, thus violating the trademark. They won even when it should have been protected use as it was a satire thats also protected against trade marks. AA case should be easily held up.
 
PBITran
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:55 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:06 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
There's all kinds of trademark stupidity. See Ohio State trying to trademark 'the,' as in The Ohio State University.


UM could probably trademark the word "owned." :rotfl:
 
rbavfan
Posts: 3467
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:53 am

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:08 pm

washingtonflyer wrote:
Flagship First refers to AA's first class product on 3-class 77W jets. Flagship Lounges are AA's premium lounges located in certain cities and typically reserved for international premium class passengers and elite FFs.

AA is wholly justified in protecting its trademarked product in these segments. Those who say a court will toss this immediately or that the claim is "weak" have no idea what they are talking about, or have only been in a court to address a speeding ticket.


Also on their A321 TCON service.
 
TYWoolman
Posts: 330
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:24 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:10 pm

Regardless of the reasoning behind Delta's decision to use the word "Flagship" two things Delta has going for them and one thing not:

Going For:
1) It seems the actual term is used once the Delta customer is acquired into a Delta distribution channel (website) or marketing channel (press release advertisement). Therefore, American's claim that customer's are confused is without merit.

2) The definition of Flagship according to Google internet search of "Flagship": the best or most important thing owned or produced by a particular organization. Enough said.

Not Going For:
If American loses, what Delta arguments will American use to support the new loosely use of key Delta branding terminology within similar American contexts (?)


The take away: IMHO, legally Delta wins. But long-term such a win can be the start of a brand dilution-death-match for both.

And if American has any case it may be that Delta should not be allowed to appear to brand Flagship in color red, and should only be relegated to describe it in a sentence or fragment.
Last edited by TYWoolman on Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
smokeybandit
Posts: 1250
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:24 pm

Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:13 pm

Not a single person is going to see Delta using "flagship" and confuse it with American's offerings.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos