East Carolina University has filed a lawsuit in federal court against
Cisco Systems, Inc., seeking injunctive relief and damages for the
unauthorized use of ECU's federally registered trademark "Tomorrow
"ECU has used the mark 'Tomorrow Starts Here' for over a decade,
including in national advertisements and publications such as Forbes and
Wired," said Chancellor Steve Ballard. "We feel it is essential to take
action to protect that defining trademark of our identity and vision."
In December, Ciso launched an advertising campaign using the slogan
"Tomorrow Starts Here" as its centerpiece. ECU's complaint alleges that
Cisco's use of the identical mark infringes both ECU's federally
registered and common law trademark rights.
ECU's trademark "Tomorrow Starts Here" is a university-wide brand that
represents an overlapping field of goods and services when compared with
that of Cisco. For example, research initiatives through ECU's College
of Technology and Computer Science have created products and
intellectual property that are actively being commercialized. ECU is
also a leader in the field of distance education technology that is
heavily promoted through ECU's global online education program using the
mark "Tomorrow Starts Here."
East Carolina University is a 105-year-old public university and
research institution that is nationally recognized for its technological
and software development, preparing family physicians and educators and
for its strong performing arts.
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