Bridgestone tire-capper says van rental company's logo is a retread

Bandag sues Bandago for trademark infringement

Bridgestone America's tire-retreading arm is suing a van-transport company for trademark infringement.

Filed this week in the U.S. District Court for Middle Tennessee, Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions says Bandago, a California-based company that provides van rentals primarily for touring musical acts, is using a newly-designed logo which may cause consumer confusion.

The "Bandag" name has been used for the retreading company since the 1950s. Bandago — which runs one of its seven outposts in Nashville — filed its name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2003, the Bridgestone company opposed. The parties reached a settlement in 2010, allowing the Bandago name so long as it was limited to vehicle rental.

But, Bandago created a new logo in 2012 and asked Bandag if it had any objections. Indeed, the retreaders did object, noting that both logos, which use all lower-case letters, feature a "nearly identical 'tail' on the 'g' that extends to the left under most of the mark." (The Bridgestone unit's logo is on the right.)

Bandag is suing for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, dilution, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and unfair competition.