Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

May 22, 2017 Reporter's Notebook

Travelers, again, duels over logo infringement

Graphic | Contributed

Travelers Cos. is back in court in another attempt to block the use of an umbrella logo by another financial services company.

The property-casualty insurer, which has filed a number of previous trademark lawsuits related to its umbrella logo, alleges in a suit filed this month in federal court that Tennessee investment advisory firm Virtue Capital Management is using a logo that is “confusingly similar” to its iconic, red umbrella logo that it has used since 1960.

The use of a similar umbrella logo, Travelers argues, has damaged the insurer's brand and is likely to confuse or deceive the public.

“Revenues generated from products and services sold in connection with the Travelers umbrella mark over the years have been substantial, including revenues exceeding $150 billion since 2008 alone,” the May 5 lawsuit states.

Travelers said it also spends “tens of millions of dollars” annually on advertising that incorporates the logo.

“We have one of the best and most recognizable brands in the world and take seriously our responsibility to protect its value,” Travelers spokesman Patrick Linehan said.

Virtue Capital did not respond to a request for comment. As of press time, the company had not designated an attorney for the case, according to court records.

Travelers claims that Virtue Capital launched a financial education website,, last March that used a “prominent reddish upright umbrella logo” until November. The insurer said Virtue Capital also attempted to trademark a logo that incorporated a small umbrella, but abandoned the application in November after Travelers objected.

At that point, Travelers says, Virtue Capital changed its umbrella logo by adding lines and other elements to make it resemble a parachute (shown left). But Travelers argues that the changes were “minor” and “non-material.”

Travelers has asked the court to bar Virtue Capital from using the alleged infringing logos and to order the company to pay unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, attorney fees, and any profits earned from the alleged infringement.

The suit isn't unique for Travelers, which has been fiercely protective of its logo.

Since 2008, it has filed similar suits in Connecticut against Farmers Group, Progressive Casualty Insurance, London-based Banner Life,, and a California-based insurance agency, according to court records.

All of those cases were settled or voluntarily dismissed, and any financial settlements were not made public.

– Matt Pilon

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF