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Court Grants Injunction Protecting Evoke Software's Trademark

    Online News published in
December 12, 2000
  By Rachel Rasmussen

San Francisco, Calif., Dec. 12, 2000 ? A federal judge has granted data management software provider Evoke Software's request for an injunction protecting Evoke Software's trademark from further infringement by Evoke Communications Inc., a Webcasting and software service provider. The injunction prohibits Evoke Communications from engaging in any advertisement until the trial on Evoke Software's claims that Evoke Communications' use of the name ``Evoke'' constitutes trademark infringement. The injunction will begin January 12, 2001.

Federal district judge William Alsup found clear evidence of ``massive confusion'' regarding the two companies caused by Evoke Communications' media blitz using the ``Evoke'' name. In granting the injunction, Judge Alsup repeatedly cited Evoke Communications' admitted efforts to ``overshadow'' Evoke Software and to force Evoke Software to change its name. ``At stake is Evoke Software's good will, and its control of its mark,'' Judge Alsup noted in his order. Looking ahead to a May, 2001, trial Judge Alsup stated that ``Evoke Software has demonstrated that it will likely succeed on the merits'' of its claims of trademark infringement. He stopped short of more restrictions before the trial because he believes by doing so Evoke Communications ``faces an end to its business.''

``This injunction is a giant step forward in our effort to take our name back,'' said Lacy Edwards, chairman and CEO of Evoke Software. ``We've spent three years and nearly $40 million building our name recognition and good reputation, and Judge Alsup agrees with us that Evoke Communications has unfairly harmed our efforts.''

Along with requiring Evoke Communications to stop all advertising, Judge Alsup ordered Evoke Communications to ``ensure that the word 'evoke' doesn't appear alone on its Web site or invoices or anywhere else.'' The order also prohibits Evoke Communications from naming any new product or services with the word ``evoke,'' and it must post a ``very prominent'' disclaimer on its website informing visitors that it isn't affiliated with Evoke Software.

Evoke Software, based in San Francisco, has used the trademark ``Evoke'' to brand its company and software products since May, 1998, and its trademark has been federally registered since August, 1999. Evoke Communications, based in Louisville, Colorado, changed its name from VStream in February, 2000, and began a large advertising campaign that Judge Alsup found has created significant confusion in the marketplace.

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Rachel Rasmussen was a Web Editor of

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