In case of Ariel v. Ariel, the little Ariel triumphs

RIA that was sued by asset manager wins case on appeal

Feb 2, 2018 @ 12:23 pm

By InvestmentNews

A federal appeals court in Illinois has reversed a lower court's decision that Florida-based RIA Ariel Capital Advisors had infringed on the trademarks of Chicago-based Ariel Investments, an asset manager.

In March, a federal court in Chicago imposed a fine on Ariel Capital and ruled that its owner, Christopher Bray, would have to pick a new name for the business because his firm likely would be confused with the larger, nationwide Ariel Investments, which has held trademarks on its name since as early as 1984.

The advisory firm, which Mr. Bray says was named after his daughter, is now known as Bray Capital Advisors and is based in Naples, Fla.

A three-judge panel in the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that reversed the ruling based their decision on an interpretation of the Lanham Act, which governs trademarks, saying that jurisdiction under the law depends on state statutes. Since Ariel Capital has no property or clients in Illinois, or advertised there, the panel found that the smaller firm was not "acting" in Illinois.

"Knowing about a potential for harm in a particular state is not the same as acting in that state — and it takes the latter to permit personal jurisdiction under state law," the appeals court wrote.

"No matter how one might characterize the relation between Ariel Investments and Ariel Capital, it is easy to describe the relation between Illinois and Ariel Capital: none," the panelists ruled. "That resolves this litigation."

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video

Events

Transamerica's Boan: Crafting better retirement income conversations

Retirement income is a challenge for investors. How can advisers have better conversations about retirement income? Transamerica's Joseph Boan offers insights and tips for advisers.

Latest news & opinion

Cambridge Investment Research bags mid-sized broker-dealer

Broker Dealer Financial Services, an IBD with 150 reps and advisers, and $3.5 billion in assets, will become a Cambridge OSJ.

HighTower on prowl for new CEO, Weissbluth to become chairman

Move is latest in Chicago-based RIA consolidator's effort to expand senior leadership team.

What's in a name? For TCA by ETrade, everything

Trust Company of America is gone, and there's big buzz over the name change. But turning the custodian into an industry powerhouse will take a lot longer — if it happens at all.

When it comes to regulating AI in financial services, murky waters are ahead

Laws are unclear on how the technology fits in with compliance.

As Ameriprise case shows, firms on hook when brokers go bad ​

The SEC will collect $4.5 million from the brokerage firm for failing to supervise brokers who were ripping off clients.

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print