Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. has filed two federal lawsuits claiming 7-SEVEN stores in Bibb County are infringing on and diluting the companys trademark.
7-Eleven, which operates more than 7,000 stores, has used its trademark at convenience stores since 1946 and offered gasoline using the trademark since 1967.
The company alleges the 7-SEVEN stores chose their logo to trade upon the fame and goodwill of 7-Eleven, according to the lawsuits, filed March 11 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia.
Krunal Patel, who owns some 7-SEVEN stores, said anybody can tell the difference between the 7-Eleven and 7-SEVEN logos even though he admits they are similar.
Its not the same, he said.
Stores listed in the court documents include those located at 3609 Pio Nono Ave., 1904 Shurling Drive, 2760 Montpelier Ave., 3590 Napier Ave., and 1290 Gray Highway.
Attempts to reach other owners and companies named in the lawsuits were unsuccessful Monday.
7-Eleven is asking that a judge require the destruction of the 7-SEVEN stores labels, signs and any other items to which the alleged infringed logo is affixed. It also asks that a judge prevent the further use of the 7-SEVEN name; the numbers 7 and 11 or color combinations of red, green, orange and white as part of convenience store logos.
The company also requests that a judge award compensation for damages it suffered because trademark infringement, unfair competition and trademark dilution, and three times all profits they allege the 7-SEVEN stores wrongfully earned.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.