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San Francisco sues Oakland over new 'San Francisco Bay' airport name

Autor: Blake Brittain

April 18 (Reuters) – San Francisco sued its neighboring city Oakland in California federal court on Thursday, claiming Oakland’s move to rename its airport “San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport” would violate San Francisco’s trademark rights.

Oakland’s use of “San Francisco” and “International Airport” together “will almost certainly cause confusion among consumers and the public generally,” San Francisco

said in the complaint, opens new tab

. The city has been home to the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) since 1927.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco.

The Port of Oakland said in a statement that the new name does not infringe San Francisco’s trademarks and that it would “vigorously defend our right to claim our spot on the San Francisco Bay.”

“We had hoped Oakland would come to its senses, but their refusal to collaborate on an acceptable alternative name leaves us no choice but to file a lawsuit to protect SFO’s trademark,” San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu said in a statement.

The Port of Oakland announced plans in March to change the name of the Metropolitan Oakland International Airport to the San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport. Oakland’s airport is located 12 miles east of San Francisco and just over 30 miles from SFO.

“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” if Oakland goes through with the plan, the lawsuit said.

According to the lawsuit, the city of Oakland reached out to SFO’s airport director just 30 minutes before it announced the name change. The complaint said San Francisco officials including mayor London Breed told Oakland officials that they opposed the proposal and threatened legal action, but never received responses.

Oakland’s Board of Port Commissioners preliminarily approved the name change on April 11. San Francisco asked the court to block the change and force airlines and others to stop using the Oakland airport’s new name, in addition to requesting an unspecified amount of money damages.

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, Michael Dergosits and Igor Shoiket of Dergosits & Noah

For Oakland: attorney information not yet available

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Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles., opens new tab

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