IBJNews

Franklin College sues like-named competitor over marketing push

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
The confusion has finally gotten to Franklin College.

The liberal arts college south of Indianapolis filed a lawsuit today alleging trademark infringement against Ohio-based Franklin University, which will open a campus in Castleton this fall.

Franklin University has run a heavy advertising campaign to mark its entrance into Indianapolis. But Franklin College said the marketing blitz has been too close to Franklin College’s own branding.

“For us, it’s a very practical matter,” Franklin College President Jay Moseley said in a statement. “They are implementing an aggressive advertising plan that is causing substantial confusion. It is important that we get this issue resolved.”

Moseley said that since Franklin University’s advertising began in May, Franklin College has received many calls, comments and e-mail messages asking why the school has changed its name or whether it has opened a satellite office for online courses. He also complained that the colors and clock tower in some Franklin University ads are strikingly similar to Franklin College’s logo.

“We have great concerns about the impact of the obvious confusion, especially with prospective students and employers of our alumni,” Moseley stated.

The two schools have different missions. Franklin College enrolls primarily students aged 18 to 22, nearly all of whom reside on its campus in Franklin. The school has about 1,000 students.

But Franklin University enrolls primarily working adults, whose average age is over 30. Many of its courses are taught online, although the Castleton campus will have 20,000 square feet of space in an office building.

Indianapolis is the first new U.S. market for Franklin University, which plans to expand in the Midwest and even in other countries. The school has about 11,000 students.

In an interview in June, Linda Steele, vice president of marketing for Franklin University, said the school never considered operating under a different name than Franklin in Indianapolis.

"The Franklin College issue came up and we really did have to take a step back and ask the question whether that is a showstopper," Steele said. "Obviously, we think not, because we chose to go forward."

Franklin University officials could not be reached immediately to comment on the lawsuit. It was filed in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

ADVERTISEMENT