MINNEAPOLIS – Northwest Airlines and NWA Federal Credit Unionrecently agreed to new lease terms that will keep credit unionoffices and ATMs in place inside Northwest Airlines facilities. Theoriginal lease, set to expire in March, has a term of three yearsat market rates, said Paul Parish, president/CEO of the $1.3billion NWA FCU. Offices covered by this lease include four in theTwin Cities, one in Chisholm, Minn., and one in Detroit. ATMscovered by the agreement are located in the Twin Cities, Chisholm,Duluth, Anchorage, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Tampa, Baltimore, Boston,Detroit and Seattle. “We're pleased to have reached agreement withNorthwest Airlines. Our new lease will enable us to continue toprovide the high level of service our member/owners have come toexpect,” Parish said. In March 2003, Northwest Airlines threatenedto evict NWA from its offices if royalty and licensing fees forlogo and trademark use were not paid. The airline agreed last Mayto extend the July 5, 2003 subleases of several properties occupiedby the credit union to March 21, 2004. At the time, NWA FCU paidthe airline rent for seven offices, including four in Minneapolisand 23 ATMs at Northwest facilities across the nation. Parish saidthe royalty and licensing fees would cost the credit union $6million annually – “equal to more than half our net income.” NCUAhas backed the credit union's decision on not paying the fees. LastMay, NCUA Region Five Director Jane Walters wrote the credit unionstating that based on information provided by NWA, “Northwest hasno right requesting compensation to serve this field of membership,nor is (the credit union) authorized to pay for access to serveeligible members.” Meanwhile, a suit filed last spring by NorthwestAirlines over claims to the logos and trademarks used by the creditunion is still pending. In a Jan. 19, 2004 letter to NorthwestAirlines employees, President Doug Steenland wrote “the creditunion asserts that it owns the rights to use various Northwesttrademarks and that it is free to continue to use them even withoutNorthwest's permission” (CU Times, Feb. 11, 2004). Parish hasasserted all along that the credit union has owned trademarks onthe NWA Federal Credit Union name since 1988 and has used a varietyof Northwest logos, trademarks and aircraft images with thecompany's knowledge and go-ahead for nearly seven [email protected]

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