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Quotient lawsuit

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An information technology company in Washington is not about to start offering printable coupons. And the owner of Coupons.com is not going to begin providing IT services for federal government agencies.

So the chances that anyone would confuse Quotient, Inc. and Quotient Technology was minimal, the latter company argued. Now, the two have agreed to settle a dispute over their similar names.

Quotient, the DC-area tech services firm, has been around since 1999. At the time, the company believed it was the only technology firm with the Quotient name. So it was alarmed when Coupons.com decided to change its own corporate name to Quotient Technology last October.

The original Quotient demanded that the former Coupons.com stop using the new name, withdraw its trademark application and relinquish its new quotient.com website.

But instead of complying with the demands, Quotient Technology decided to sue.

In a federal lawsuit filed in December, Quotient Technology asked for a court order declaring that its new name did not infringe on Quotient’s rights. “There is no likelihood of confusion” between the two companies, Quotient Technology argued. Quotient “does not market or sell any goods or services to any consumer packaged goods companies,” and its services “have no relationship with the goods and services offered by Quotient Technologies.”

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The original Quotient was apparently so confident in the uniqueness of its name, the company never got around to applying for a trademark on it until 2014. By then, there was a software development company called Quotient Integrated Solutions in existence, which lodged a separate objection to Quotient’s trademark request. By the time that dispute was resolved, Quotient Technology came along.

That’s a whole lot of competing Quotients.

So while the first Quotient can point to its 17-year history of using that name, it hasn’t been able to point to an actual registered trademark on the name, in its disputes with the other companies.

Quotient never filed a formal response to Quotient Technology’s lawsuit, and now the two sides have agreed to a settlement. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and neither Quotient company responded to requests for comment.

So will the settlement require Quotient Technology to change its name back to Coupons.com? So far, that doesn’t appear to be happening. The quotient.com website is still alive and well, and both companies’ trademark applications are still in process.

Quotient may have dropped its objections, in order to avoid the hassle of a federal court case. Or Quotient Technology could have offered a financial settlement to help ease Quotient’s concerns. Unless either side talks, we may never know.

In the meantime, none of it will affect your ability to print coupons. Whatever the name of the company that’s offering them.

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