Citigroup And AT&T End Legal Feud Over Concept Of Thankfulness

Wanting to thank and reward customers isn’t a new concept, but Citi and AT&T have spent the last few months in a legal feud over the idea of thankfulness. They’ve decided to end the legal feud, though, after a federal judge ruled that AT&T didn’t have to stop using the term for its rewards program while the two sides battled in court.

The two programs are called “AT&T thanks” and “thankyou,” and the only thing they may have in common is the use of lower-case letters. Citi had trademarked its rewards program for credit card users, and AT&T applied for a trademark on its program’s name months before beginning the program.

The judge noted that the two names are similar, but use different words, and no one can own the idea of thankfulness.

AT&T and Citi even have a co-branded credit card, but it’s tough to imagine that even those customers would confuse one program for the other.

In a statement, a Citigroup representative said, “We have decided not to pursue this matter any further and look forward to continuing to work with AT&T.”

Both sides dropped their claims against each other “with prejudice,” meaning that they can’t pick the case back up again later if either side begins to feel especially ungrateful.

Citigroup, AT&T end litigation over ‘thanks’ [Reuters]