Rent-A-Wreck is sued over 'pick you up' ad

Maryland Watch

May 14, 1998

Industry giant Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co. is suing Owings Mills-based Rent-A-Wreck of America for trademark infringement, claiming the smaller company is using a slogan that is a registered Enterprise trademark: "We'll pick you up."

Rent-A-Wreck advertises on the radio that it will shuttle customers to various locations with the phrase, "and of course, they'll pick you up."

Enterprise asked a federal judge in Missouri to order Rent-A-Wreck to stop using the phrase, pay Enterprise part of its profits and destroy all the ads.

Rent-A-Wreck says the 25-year-old company collected customers and drove them to its rental locations for years before the advertising dispute surfaced, and claims the case is a bid to put it out of business.

Spokesman Gene Blum noted that Enterprise, which had nearly $3.7 billion in revenue last year, has a fleet of about 400,000 vehicles, compared with Rent-A-Wreck's 15,000 vehicles.

"Since they can't beat the growing popularity of Rent-A-Wreck in the replacement car market, they'll try to bleed us dry in attorney fees," said President Kenneth L. Blum Jr.

Pub Date: 5/14/98

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