Aug. 22, 2011 – The State Bar of Wisconsin filed a lawsuit on August 19 against LexisNexis to enforce the State Bar’s federally registered Pillar Icon trademark. LexisNexis recently began using a similar pillar logo on its legal information website, Lawyers.com. LexisNexis has so far refused the State Bar’s request that it change the Lawyers.com logo
The State Bar maintains a portfolio of trademarks to promote and distinguish its goods and services, which include highly regarded publications, educational programs and public information services. The Pillar Icon, used in connection with all the State Bar’s goods and services, represents the State Bar’s excellent reputation as one of the nations’ leading bar associations.
State Bar members should be assured that the association completed the selection and registration of its trademarks with great care. The State Bar adopted the Pillar Icon after a careful screening for potentially conflicting marks and promptly applied for federal registration. That application resulted in federal registration of the Pillar Icon, which gives the State Bar the exclusive nationwide right to use the Pillar Icon and the right to prevent others from using confusingly similar marks.
Like other trademark owners, to protect its reputation and to preserve its trademarks, the State Bar has an obligation to enforce its rights against the unauthorized use of confusingly similar trademarks.