In a ruling issued July 29, a Georgia court handed a significant victory to Bryan Cave client Atlantic Southern Bank in a trademark suit with broad implications for the bank. Plaintiff Atlantic National Bank had asserted exclusive rights to the term “Atlantic” for banking in Southeast Georgia and claimed that Atlantic Southern’s local operations using “Sapelo Southern Bank, a Division of Atlantic Southern Bank” infringed and diluted its federal, state and common law marks.

The U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia granted summary judgment to Atlantic Southern Bank on all claims asserted by the Plaintiff and on Atlantic Southern’s declaratory judgment counterclaim. As a result, our client can operate in Southeast Georgia solely as “Atlantic Southern Bank.” The Court has yet to resolve Atlantic Southern’s motion for attorney’s fees under the Lanham Act and Georgia’s bad faith statute.

Eric Schroeder, Damon Whitaker and John Bush from Bryan Cave’s Atlanta office represented Atlantic Southern Bank.