Invesco slapped with ETF trademark suit

Jul 23, 2010 @ 9:01 am

By Bloomberg

Invesco Ltd., the Atlanta-based investment management company, has been sued by a Boston-based trust claiming infringement of its trademarks for exchange- traded funds.

Select Sector SPDR Trust said Invesco began marketing its PowerShares funds using the same XL ticker symbols SPDR has been using, in a complaint filed today in U.S. District Court in Houston.

Invesco introduced nine ETFs in April with the symbol XL that trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market, SPDR said. The trust said it has used XL for more than 10 years and that each of its ETFs traded an average of 25 million shares a day in 2009. In an example from the complaint, SPDR said its technology ETF uses the symbol XLK while Invesco’s PowerShares tech fund has XLKS.

Invesco adopted the XL symbols “with the intent to obtain free publicity from the trust’s efforts and immediate market recognition,” John Fraser, the lawyer for SPDR, a unit of State Street Global Advisors Inc., wrote in the complaint.

Ivy McLemore, a spokesman for Invesco, said it is company policy not to comment on litigation.

Invesco rose 96 cents, or 5.3 percent, to $19.26 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

The case is Select Sector SPDR Trust v. PowerShares Exchange-Traded Fund Trust II et al., 10-02589, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas (Houston).

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