381 F.2d 991 (10th Cir. 1967), 9160, General Adjustment Bureau, Inc. v. General Ins. Adjustment Co.

Docket Nº:9160.
Citation:381 F.2d 991, 155 U.S.P.Q. 128
Party Name:GENERAL ADJUSTMENT BUREAU, INC., Appellant, v. GENERAL INSURANCE ADJUSTMENT COMPANY, Appellee.
Case Date:August 31, 1967
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
 
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Page 991

381 F.2d 991 (10th Cir. 1967)

155 U.S.P.Q. 128

GENERAL ADJUSTMENT BUREAU, INC., Appellant,

v.

GENERAL INSURANCE ADJUSTMENT COMPANY, Appellee.

No. 9160.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit.

Aug. 31, 1967

Rehearing Denied Oct. 5, 1967.

Jack N. Hays, Tulsa, Okl. (Richard W. Gable, Tulsa, Okl., on brief), for appellee.

Page 992

Before JONES, 1 SETH and HICKEY, Circuit Judges.

HICKEY, Circuit Judge.

The appellant, General Adjustment Bureau, Inc., a national corporation organized pursuant to the laws of New York, has its principal place of business in New York City and is admitted to transact business in Oklahoma. The appellant instituted this action against appellee, General Insurance Adjustment Company, an Oklahoma corporation which has its principal place of business in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is admitted to transact business in Oklahoma and elsewhere as a general insurance adjustment company.

Appellant sought a perpetual injunction enjoining appellee from using in any manner the name 'General Insurance Adjustment Company' or any other name containing the two-word combination 'General Adjustment', together with damages and other relief normally prayed for in tradename and rights infringement actions.

The trial court denied the relief prayed for and found no actual confusion nor 'significant evidence that the names * * * are so similar as to confuse an ordinary person of ordinary intelligence and observation in business matters, or that such person will certainly or probably be deceived.' The question presented for review is the propriety of the findings under the Oklahoma law of tradename and infringement rights.

The determination of whether these two corporate names are confusingly similar is a question of fact, Beatrice Foods Company v. Neosho Valley Coop. Creamery Ass'n, 297 F.2d 447 (10th Cir. 1961), and unless the findings of fact are clearly erroneous we cannot set aside the judgment of the trial court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(a).

The evidence reveals that the appellant is a non-profit corporation representing approximately 260 insurance companies, 85% Of whom are stockholders of appellant and receive year-end dividends based upon a pro-rata basis to both stockholders and non-stockholders of the profits earned during the year. It is further shown that appellee performs general insurance adjustment services...

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