PODS Awarded $62M In Trademark Infringement Suit Against U-Haul

podsWhat’s in a name? Well, if that name happens to be PODS about $62 million. That’s how much the storage and moving company was awarded in damages from a trademark infringement lawsuit against U-Haul.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the award was made after a jury ruled U-Haul infringed on PODS’ trademarks, causing confusion and hurting business for the company.

Clearwater-based PODS delivers containers to homes and businesses to be filled and transported to storage centers.

PODS sued U-Haul International in U.S. District Court in Tampa back in 2012 alleging that U-Haul “improperly and unlawfully” used the PODS trademark on its website as a way to divert sales. The company sought an estimated $170 million in damages.

At the time the suit was filed officials with U-Haul said the company used the word pod to describe its U-Box product.

However, the jury found that U-Haul unjustly gained from mentioning the term in its marketing and advertising materials and started using the word only after PODS became a prominent business.

The ruling in PODS’ favor was a significant win over “genericide,” the term used to describe what happens when a trademarked product morphs from a single product identified under a name to an entire product category, such as happened with aspirin, trampoline and cellophane.

In all, the jury awarded PODS about $46 million in damages and another $16 million in profits attributable to U-Haul using the word pods.

An attorney for PODS tells the Times that based on the verdict the company plans to seek an injunction to get U-Haul to stop using pod and pods.

It was unclear if U-Haul plans to appeal the ruling.

PODS wins $62 million award in trademark infringement lawsuit against U-Haul [Tampa Bay Times]

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