U.S. News | Montessori School Sues Montessori Academy for Trademark Infringement

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Palo Alto Montessori School has filed a lawsuit in the California Northern District Court against Palo Alto Bilingual Montessori Academy for trademark infringement.

Palo Alto Montessori School alleges that the defendant is using a similar name and similar signs to capitalize on the plaintiff’s reputation and steal its business.

The plaintiff reportedly said that it opened in 1977 with 20% of applicants coming from out of state with the goal of relocating to Palo Alto. 

The plaintiff reportedly said that Palo Alto Bilingual Montessori Academy opened in 2010 and has been using similar-sounding names including “Stanford Preschool Bilingual Montessori” and “Palo Alto Montessori Academy” without permission.

The plaintiff alleges that parents of students and prospective students and job applicants frequently make the mistake of reaching out to the defendant’s school, and vice versa.

The plaintiff alleges that the infringement has caused lots of damages, unfair competition, and confusion.

The lawsuit reportedly listed the Academy under the limited liability corporation “Stanford Education Foundation”.

Stanford spokesman, EJ Miranda reportedly said that he could not find any official connection between Stanford and Palo Alto Bilingual Montessori Academy.

Miranda reportedly said that Montessori schools are supposed to adhere to the education philosophy of Italian physician Maria Montessori. However, the name Montessori is not trademarked, meaning there are no official standards for what constitutes a Montessori school.

The plaintiff seeks injunction and payment of damages as the court deems fit.

The case is pending.

Palo Alto Montessori School, Inc. v. Stanford Education Foundation, LLC

Judge:Joseph C Spero
Court:California Northern District Court
Case #:3:20-cv-01466
Nature of Suit:Trademark
Cause:Trademark Infringement
Case Filed:Feb 27, 2020
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About Nathaniel Adebayo 692 Articles
Nathaniel is a News Reporting Intern at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch (NLIPW). He has a passion for writing, capacity building and social media marketing. He is a graduate of Federal University of Technology, Minna, where he graduated with BTECHAGRIC. He is a member of Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) and the National Union of Campus Journalist (NUCJ). Nathaniel has served as Editor-in-Chief for a number of magazines and as a contributor to various online repositories. Email: anathaniel@nlipw.com