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Port of Oakland denies deceiving fliers with 'San Francisco Bay' airport

Autor: Blake Brittain

Flight attendants wear protective masks at the International Terminal of San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco

Flight attendants wear protective masks at the International Terminal of San Francisco International Airport, in San Francisco, California, U.S. March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Kate Munsch Purchase Licensing Rights, opens new tab

May 10 (Reuters) – The Port of Oakland has denied claims that adding “San Francisco Bay” to its airport’s name will confuse fliers, asking a judge to reject a trademark lawsuit by neighboring San Francisco.

In a

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on Thursday, the port told the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that airports in Chicago, Dallas, London, Paris and Beijing peacefully share their cities’ names and said that its branding and continued use of the OAK airport code would prevent confusion.

The port also argued that San Francisco’s own airport name, San Francisco International Airport, is misleading because the airport is located in San Mateo County and not San Francisco itself.

Representatives for San Francisco did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the filing on Friday.

“The San Francisco’s City Attorney’s decision to pursue litigation is an attempt to stop consumer education, prevent expanded air travel options for Bay Area residents and visitors, and is a misguided use of San Francisco taxpayer dollars,” Port of Oakland attorney Mary Richardson said in a statement.

The port announced plans in March to change the name of Metropolitan Oakland International Airport to San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport. The port’s board of commissioners unanimously approved the name change on Thursday.

Oakland’s airport is located 12 miles east of San Francisco and just over 30 miles from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). San Francisco sued Oakland for infringing its airport’s trademarks last month.

“Travelers will very likely be confused and book tickets to the unintended airport, thinking that the ‘San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport’ is SFO and arrive in the wrong place,” the lawsuit said.

The Port of Oakland urged the court to reject the lawsuit following the board’s vote on Thursday.

“Including an accurate geographic descriptor of OAK’s location on San Francisco Bay in its full name does not infringe on the City’s SFO Mark,” the port told the court.

The case is City and County of San Francisco v. City of Oakland, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:24-cv-02311.

For San Francisco: City Attorney David Chiu; and Michael Dergosits and Igor Shoiket of Dergosits & Noah

For the Port of Oakland: Mary Richardson and Kimberly McIntyre of the Port of Oakland; Eugene Pak, Stephen Willey and Brandi Balanda of Fennemore Craig

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Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington

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