Enviance Eco-mark Complaint Highlights Importance of GHG Emissions IP

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Enviance is a Carlsbad, California, corporation that produces and sells Environmental Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and provides other environmental services. The ERP software enables Enviance’s clients to measure, manage, and report things such as greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and environmental health and safety (EHS) data in order to mitigate their environmental performance.

Enviance owns at least three U.S. trademark and service mark registrations for the ENVIANCE mark (Enviance Marks):

Registration No. 2,615,961 for “computer software for providing information and forms creation in the area of environmental regulation and compliance, brownfield redevelopment, health and safety” in Class 9;

Registration No. 2,762,766 for “consultation in the fields of environmental regulation, health, safety and compliance, substance testing, waste disposal and brown field redevelopment; providing information in the fields of environmental regulation, health, safety and compliance, substance testing, waste disposal and brown field redevelopment via global computer network” in Class 42; and

Registration No. 2,976,477 for “dissemination of advertising for others via global computer network” in Class 35 and “financial management services; insurance underwriting services in the fields of marine, fire, accident, home, life, and environmental risk; electronic funds transfer services” in Class 36.

Earlier this month, Enviance sued Enviance Services (“ES”), of Houston, Texas, for trademark infringement relating to the use of the Enviance Marks. ES was created by two companies: Energy Services Acquisitions II (“ESA2”), a company that provides services relating to the Pipeline Safety Act and the Clean Air Act, and Reces, an environmental consultancy.

Enviance’s complaint alleges that ES has been using the term “Enviance” in its promotions, and that the term is substantially similar to Enviance’s registered marks.

According to the complaint, Enviance has been using the Enviance Marks in connection with its products and services since June of 2001. Thus, the company says it has built up a strong reputation and goodwill with consumers, and the Enviance Marks have become a distinctive symbol in the industry.

Enviance alleges that ESA2 and Reces’s use of the mark, in relation to ES, is designed to mislead consumers into believing the origin of goods and services is the already established corporation Enviance.

Therefore, Enviance seeks to prevent further use of its trademarks to prevent other companies from unjustly enriching themselves based on the hard work that Enviance has already done to build its reputation.

As GHG emissions accounting and reduction becomes financially and legally important in places like Australia and California, we can expect to see increased IP litigation involving this type of software product.

Article by Jared LeBeau, a contributor to Green Patent Blog. Jared is a Summer Associate with the downtown San Diego office of McKenna Long and Aldridge LLP. He will be entering his third and final year at the University of San Diego School of Law in the fall of 2012. He received a dual undergraduate degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Marist College in 2009.

Article appearing courtesy Green Patent Blog.

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Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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