Donald J. Trump may have purchased Eastern Airlines’ shuttle, but a Washington company says it has the legal rights to the name “Trump Shuttle” and is prepared to fight him in court for it.
A federal bankruptcy court last week approved the sale of Eastern’s shuttle service between New York, Washington and Boston to Trump for $365 million, and Trump said he hoped to begin flights early next month as the Trump Shuttle.
But the International Trading & Finance Corp. of Washington says it has filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for rights to the name Trump Shuttle for its division that provides transportation and storage for artwork and other items sent to or from the United States.
ITFC President Michael Fracassi said the name comes from the company’s slogan, “Play your trump card--use the Trump Shuttle.”
“My attorneys feel we have every right to use that name,” Fracassi said in an interview. “We’re prepared to do battle with him (Trump).”
“We think this is frivolous,” Bruce Nobles, president of Donald Trump’s Trump Shuttle, said in response to ITFC’s claim. He said the Trump Shuttle was incorporated last October by the Trump Organization.
Fracassi’s attorneys wrote Nobles on May 26 stating that the use of the name Trump Shuttle would infringe on ITFC’s rights and would cause customer confusion. ITFC has listed the Trump Shuttle in the Washington telephone directory with its number and registered the name in New York State as its service mark.
Nobles said he could not comment on the letter because he had not received it.