Clarksville bank sues over peer’s name

Complaint: Use of similar brand in KC market could confuse customers

Legends Bank out of Clarksville is suing a Kansas-based peer for using “Legend” in its name.

The suit filed in U.S. District Court claims that First State Bank & Trust, based out of Tonganoxie, Kan., infringed upon Legends’ trademark by branding one of its Kansas City-area locations as First Legend Bank & Trust. First State has about $225 million in assets at eight offices.

Even though Kansas City and Clarksville are more than 500 miles apart, the lawsuit claims First State’s use of Legend in the Kansas City market — the branch in question opened its doors in 2008 — could cause “confusion, mistake and deception among consumers and customers.”

First State executives didn't respond to two letters sent from Legends Bank, the suit claims. Legends officials are asking the court to prevent First State from using the name and to award damages in an amount no less than three times First State’s profits or Legends Bank's damages, whichever is greater. First State posted a loss of $553,000 in 2012 but earned $517,000 the year before.

Samuel Miller and Maia Woodhouse of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz are representing Legends, which earned $3.2 million last year. The bank has about $360 million in assets and eight offices in four Middle Tennessee counties.