In a Law360 article entitled “Barclays Fighting To Hold On To ‘Lehman Brothers’ Trademark”, Bill Donahue writes:
“Barclays PLC has largely discarded the “Lehman Brothers” brand since it acquired much of the bankrupt investment firm during the 2008 financial crisis, but court records show that it’s now fighting at the trademark office to prove that it still controls the rights to the infamous name.
It’s hard to find Barclays making much mention these days of Lehman — the storied American investment bank whose dramatic collapse under the weight of toxic mortgage-backed securities drove the global financial crisis into overdrive. The huge British bank bought Lehman’s U.S. brokerage business at fire-sale prices during the height of the crisis.”
For those in the know, Tiger Lily Ventures, a UK-based company, plans to bring out whiskey and beer products, as well as establishing a bar in NYC. Barclays opposed Tiger Lily’s application and, as would be expected, GS2Law filed a Notice of Opposition on December 1, 2014, to Barclays’ new application for Lehman Brothers.
Correctly, the article hits the nail on the head when it asks: “Did Barclays distance itself from a name synonymous with financial catastrophe to the extent that it cost the bank the ability to assert trademark rights to it?”
Tiger Lily’s Notice of Opposition states “The available evidence shows that over the past six years, [Barclays] has steered clear of using the ‘Lehman Brothers’ to sell securities.” “Ostensibly, the verified statement … of [Barclay’s] bona fide intent to use the mark in commerce for the applied-for services was submitted fraudulently.”
When asked to comment by Law360, Robert Garson was quoted as follows:
“Is Barclays really going to use ‘Lehman Brothers’ again for banking?” Garson asked. “For us that would make as much sense as using ‘Edward Scissorhands’ for intimate massage products. The name is just toxic, from a banking perspective.”
Tiger Lily is represented by Robert Garson of Garson Segal Steinmetz Fladgate LLP.
The case is Tiger Lily Ventures Ltd. v. Barclays Capital Inc., case number 91219549.