Editor's note:

 The headline on this article was changed and an explanatory note was added at the end.


The catchy name selected for the city's new bike-sharing program, "Indego," is a registered trademark of a Cleveland company, which says it will investigate if it should try to block Philadelphia from using the name.

Mayor Nutter unveiled the $16 million bike-share program Wednesday at a City Hall event.

The Indego name was designed to celebrate the $8.5 million contribution to the program by Independence Blue Cross, combining "independence" and "go."

The name and an accompanying logo are to be prominently displayed on 600 bikes and 60 docking stations around the city when the program is launched in the spring.

But the name Indego is already in use, as the trademark for a robotic device used to help paralyzed people walk.

The trademark was approved in 2013 for devices made by Parker Hannifin Corp. of Cleveland, described in the trademark application as "wearable robotic exoskeleton systems for use in assisting human ambulation."

Aidan Gormley, a spokesman for Parker Hannifin, said Wednesday the trademark matter was referred to the company's legal department after an inquiry from The Inquirer.

"We will take a look at it. . . . You do want to protect your name," Gormley said.

After legal review, "we will take whatever action we need to take," Gormley said.

Nutter's spokesman, Mark McDonald, said, "We are confident that the public will not confuse the city's bike-share program with any other party using the term Indego."

Similarly, a spokeswoman for Independence Blue Cross, Kathleen Conlon, said, "We feel very comfortable that there will be no confusion about the name Indego - that it's the name of Philadelphia's bike share program and not something else."

The owner of a trademark may ask an unauthorized user to stop using the name and may file a civil suit for trademark infringement.

Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademarked name "in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services," according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The office says the key factors in determining infringement "are the degree of similarity between the marks at issue and whether the parties' goods and/or services are sufficiently related that consumers are likely to assume (mistakenly) that they come from a common source."


A spokeswoman for Independence Blue Cross said Tuesday the insurance company and the city were aware of the trademarked use of the name but chose it anyway because they were confident that "people who use the system will not mistake the Indego bike share program as anything other than Philadelphia's bike share program sponsored by Independence." And a spokesman for Parker said Wednesday that company will have no further public comment on what action, if any, it may take.

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