NASHVILLE—Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations L.L.C. has sued North Fond du Lac, Wis.-based Iron Cross Innovations L.L.C., claiming trademark infringement.
Bridgestone Americas, in a suit filed Oct. 4 in Middle Tennessee federal district court, claims Iron Cross makes and sells Bridgestone logo lettering kits for tire sidewalls, despite Bridgestone's explicit refusal to grant Iron Cross a license.
Bridgestone spends tens of millions of dollars annually promoting, marketing and advertising its logo, the lawsuit said. Iron Cross' misappropriation of the logo creates confusion among the public and causes irreparable damage to the Bridgestone brand name, it said.
"When our customers see the Bridgestone logo on a tire, they expect and depend on a high level of quality and performance," the tire maker said in a statement regarding the lawsuit. "They deserve to know with absolute certainty that the tire was, in fact, designed and manufactured by Bridgestone."
Bridgestone seeks a permanent injunction against Iron Cross forbidding its use of the Bridgestone logo, plus treble damages and treble whatever profits Iron Cross made from selling the logo kits.
Chad Gantner, owner of Iron Cross, said he hadn't yet seen a copy of the complaint.