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Enterprise sues Missouri business for trademark infringement

Enterprise sues Missouri business for trademark infringement

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Enterprise Rent-A-Car

FILE PHOTO: Enterprise employees Mike Slyman (left), Harry Bassett (center) and branch manager John Campbell talk in the Enterprise Rent-A-Car office in the 2200 block of Washington Avenue in St. Louis in August 2012. Enterprise Holdings also operates Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental. Photo by David Carson of the Post-Dispatch.

Enterprise Holdings, the world's largest rental car company, is suing a Missouri automotive business for trademark infringement.

Clayton-based Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car, filed the lawsuit in federal court Thursday against Enterprise Remarketing, a business based in Herculaneum operated by Shahid Ansari.

Enterprise Holdings holds trademarks for use of the 'Enterprise' name for automotive dealership services and has used the name since at least 1969, the company says in its lawsuit. 

According to the lawsuit, Enterprise Holdings notified Enterprise Remarketing of its exclusive right to use the Enterprise name in February but Ansari resisted using discontinuing the use of Enterprise Remarketing for his business. 

In May, both companies participated in an automobile auction, which erroneously led some to believe the two companies were associated, Enterprise Holdings alleges in its lawsuit. 

Enterprise Remarketing "could have chosen any number of alternative non-infringing marks or trade names, but instead chose to use the infringing mark, which is confusingly similar to the Enterprise marks," Enterprise Holdings alleges in its lawsuit.

Enterprise Remarketing's Ansari could not immediately be reached for comment. Enterprise Holdings declined to comment on the litigation. 

Lisa Brown is a business reporter at the Post-Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter @LisaBrownSTL and the Business section @postdispatchbiz.

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