The lawsuit that Citigroup Inc., one of the world’s biggest banks, has started against telecommunications company AT&T over the words “thanks” and “AT&T thanks” in its new customer loyalty program has now ended. The case has been dropped by both parties with prejudice, meaning that no further legal action can be taken on the matter.
The bank claimed AT&T’s use of the words have been infringing its trademark rights to the phrase “thankyou.” Citigroup says it has since 2004 used “thankyou” extensively in promoting its own customer loyalty and reward programs, including credit cards co-branded with AT&T.
The end could have been easily predicted after the court refused Citigroup’s initial request for an injunction against AT&T. That court opinion went further in explaining to Citigroup the flimsy nature of its position than it had to, almost as a warning not to pursue this any further.
This week, the banking company relented, stating:
“Citigroup and AT&T have ended a court battle over whether the “AT&T thanks” customer loyalty program infringed Citigroup’s trademark in the phrase “thankyou.” The resolution may help preserve a relationship between Citigroup and AT&T dating to 1998. We have decided not to pursue this matter any further and look forward to continuing to work with AT&T“.
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