Peoples Fed. Sav. Bank v. People's United Bank, No. 10-2053 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Peoples Federal, a community bank that operates exclusively in Eastern Massachusetts, was chartered in 1888 and became a federally insured savings and loan in 1937. It has used the term "Peoples" in its name and service marks since 1937 and claims to be the only continuous user of the mark for banking services in Eastern Massachusetts since that time. It owns six Massachusetts registrations for its marks. Defendant, People's United, was founded in 1842 in Connecticut, and has used the word "People" in its name for at least 80 years. After acquiring branches in Massachusetts, defendant re-opened them under the name "People's United Bank." Peoples Federal filed suit alleging trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1125(a), and Massachusetts statutory and common law. The district court denied a preliminary injunction. The First Circuit affirmed, finding that the court properly weighed plaintiff's likelihood of success on the merits, likelihood of irreparable harm, the balance of relevant equities, and the effect of the court's action on the public interest.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on February 17, 2012.