INDIANAPOLIS (CN) – Ohio-based Franklin University overstepped the bounds of a shared name by advertising its new campus in Indiana using materials and images, including a clock tower logo, similar to those of Franklin College, the college claims in Federal Court.
Franklin College of Indiana is a small, undergraduate liberal arts school that serves mostly Indiana residents. It trademarked its “Old Main Tower” in Indiana, the college says.
Franklin College says Franklin University began to advertise its Indianapolis facility this year with a clock tower logo. And Franklin College, whose colors are blue and gold, says the university used confusingly similar colors in its ads.
Franklin University mainly offers online classes geared toward adults, but advertises using “images of undergraduate-aged [students] rather than the adult generation it claims as its students,” Franklin College says.
The college also claims that the university chose the name Franklin University – Indianapolis or “Franklin” with the intent to cause confusion between the schools.
Franklin College says that the university’s ads and materials have caused higher education representatives to believe that Franklin College has changed its name, and that the confusion by “other Indiana colleges and universities is almost certainly magnified in the general public.”
Franklin College seeks an injunction, alleging federal and state trademark infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition.
Franklin College is represented by Wayne Turner with Bingham McHale.