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Reuters reports that JetBlue Airways is suing Walmart for trademark infringement in what the story says is “an effort to stop the world’s largest retailer from using the name Jetblack for its text-based personal shopping service.”

According to the story, “In a complaint filed on Friday night, JetBlue said Jetblack was a ‘transparent attempt’ by Walmart to capitalize on the carrier’s goodwill, and would likely cause ‘significant consumer confusion’ as the service expands across the United States.

“JetBlue also said Walmart intended further infringements by using other ‘Jet+color’ names such as Jetgold and Jetsilver, and moving closer to JetBlue’s core business by offering travel services, including dining and entertainment recommendations.”

Jetblack has been pitched by Walmart as a personal shopping service - for the moment only available in New York City - which for $50 a month offers next-day delivery of whatever customers want via couriers or expedited shipping. Walmart has said that two-thirds of its Jetblack customers engage with the service on a weekly basis, and spend an average of $1,500 per month on JetBlack purchases.

“We respect the intellectual property rights of others,” Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said in response to the filing. “We take this issue seriously, and once we are served with the complaint will respond appropriately with the court.”
KC's View:
I have to be honest. I’ve read lots of stories about Jetblack and written more than a few … and at no point did I ever think about JetBlue or get confused.

That said, if Jetblack has plans to get into the travel business and provide some form of concierge services, JetBlue may have a point. Be interesting to see how this plays out.