IBJNews

Republic sues website operator over airline gift cards

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings Inc. and its Frontier Airlines unit filed a trademark-infringement case against the operator of a website offering gift cards as consumer incentives.

The carriers on Dec. 1 sued World Avenue USA LLC of Sunrise, Fla., three other named defendants and 10 unnamed defendants in federal court in Denver. The website makes unauthorized use of the Frontier trademarks in its offerings of free gift cards, the airline said in its court papers.

World didn’t respond immediately to an e-mail requesting comment.

According to an exhibit filed with the complaint, World Avenue had previously been the target of a consumer-protection suit filed in Florida state court in August 2007 by the state’s attorney general.

Both suits relate to pop-up windows that promise free merchandise in return for meeting certain requirements, typically filling out questionnaires and surveys. Republic alleges that World Avenue has been offering Frontier Airlines gift cards without authorization as incentives.

On its website, World Avenue says it has previously been investigated by the attorneys general of Florida and Texas. The Florida investigation closed in January 2008, and the attorney general’s suit was dismissed. World Avenue said in a statement at that time that the suit related to its use of “Free” in Internet ads, and that the attorney general “made no determination that the company had violated any law, rules or regulations.”

World Avenue said it made a $1 million contribution to the Florida Department of Legal Affairs’ Revolving Trust Fund “to assist with future efforts in developing industrywide standards and best practices.” It also said it voluntarily agreed “to make certain changes to minimize the potential for any possible misunderstanding by consumers.”

World said in a May 2008 statement that there had been “no determination that the company had violated any law, rules or regulations” in the investigation by the Texas attorney general.

World said that “in its bid always to be a responsible corporate citizen,” it agreed to reimburse the attorney general’s office for its investigation expenses.

Republic also named as defendants World Chairman Niuniu Ji and Online Reward Center, a name under which it said World does business.

Republic asked the court to order the defendants to quit using any of the Frontier marks without authorization, and for monetary damages, attorney fees and litigation costs. The airline also asked that damages be tripled and that profits relative to the alleged infringement also be awarded.

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. Can your dog sign a marriage license or personally state that he wishes to join you in a legal union? If not then no, you cannot marry him. When you teach him to read, write, and speak a discernible language, then maybe you'll have a reasonable argument. Thanks for playing!

  2. Look no further than Mike Rowe, the former host of dirty jobs, who was also a classically trained singer.

  3. Current law states income taxes are paid to the county of residence not county of income source. The most likely scenario would be some alteration of the income tax distribution formula so money earned in Marion co. would go to Marion Co by residents of other counties would partially be distributed to Marion co. as opposed to now where the entirety is held by the resident's county.

  4. This is more same-old, same-old from a new generation of non-progressive 'progressives and fear mongers. One only needs to look at the economic havoc being experienced in California to understand the effect of drought on economies and people's lives. The same mindset in California turned a blind eye to the growth of population and water needs in California, defeating proposal after proposal to build reservoirs, improve water storage and delivery infrastructure...and the price now being paid for putting the demands of a raucous minority ahead of the needs of many. Some people never, never learn..

  5. I wonder if I can marry him too? Considering we are both males, wouldn't that be a same sex marriage as well? If they don't honor it, I'll scream discrimination just like all these people have....

ADVERTISEMENT