Twitter, Indeed Backer Involved In Name Game

    August 3, 2007

Union Square Ventures’s past investments include and FeedBurner; it’s currently backing Twitter, Indeed, and AdaptiveBlue.  Union Square Ventures is also behind a lawsuit against Union Square Partners, and, for simplicity’s sake, I’ll henceforth refer to the entities as “Ventures” and “Partners.”

Ventures is concerned that Partners is infringing on its trademark.  “Ventures, firm of the well-known Internet investor Fred Wilson, has a higher profile, and even comes up first in Google results when you search for the other firm,” reports VentureBeat’s Matt Marshall.

As for that list of accomplishments?  I’m unable to produce one for Partners that sounds half as nice.  “But the firms have been confused several times by outsiders, and [Ventures] wants to stop it,” Marshall notes.  I don’t blame Ventures, and I’m actually (legal stuff aside) a bit grateful – I’ve already had to check this article for errors on several occasions.

The lawsuit doesn’t name any dollar figures (a PDF was provided by peHUB’s Dan Primack) – the first few requests that Ventures makes of the court merely entail ending the similarities.  The suit does go on to request, however, that the court “[d]irect Defendants to account to Plaintiffs for their profits and order that Plaintiff recover its damages arising out of the aforesaid acts of infringement in a sum equal to three times such profits or damages (whichever is greater) . . .”

Still, don’t expect the lawsuit to interfere with day-to-day operations at either firm, and really don’t expect it to bother any of Ventures’s investments; this should remain a behind-the-scenes battle.  And as with many of these lawsuits, there’s no telling how many weeks, months, or years it may be before a resolution occurs.