CU Takes Bank to Court to Prove M Stands for Members 1st
A Metro Bank rebrand in Pennsylvania is not exactly going as planned.
First, the rebranding rollout of Commerce Bank/Harrisburg to Metro Bank in June was accompanied by a system upgrade that caused some glitches and service interruptions. The result was a public relations nightmare as customers hit the Internet blogging about their Metro Bank customer service woes, ranging from debit cards canceled without notice, to problems with their online banking accounts.
Now Members 1st Federal Credit Union has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, Pa., accusing Metro Bank of trademark infringement. At issue is the bank's red M logo. The Mechanicsburg credit union stated that the bank adopted the M logo "in an effort to capitalize on Members 1st goodwill and thereby obtain a competitive advantage."
According to Members 1st Executive Vice President George Nahodil, the bank's logo is creating confusion in the marketplace. The credit union has been using its signature red M logo since 2003 and obtained a trademark on it Jan. 11, 2006.
The Metro Bank M has a break in the left side of the M, while the Members 1st M has a break on the right side to form part of the letter M as '1st.'