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CU System
Avanta FCU changes name to avoid trademark problems
BILLINGS, Mont. (6/10/09)--Avanta FCU is changing its name for the second time in five years--this time to avoid a trademark lawsuit. Advanta Bank Corp., which is registered in Delaware and conducts business in Utah, complained that the $137.2 million asset, Billings, Mont.-based Avanta FCU’s name infringed on the trademark the bank has owned since 1987 (billingsgazette.com June 9). In 2008, the Utah bank gave the Montana credit union one year to change its name. Consequently, Avanta will become Altana FCU on July 1. Avanta FCU changed its name from Laurel FCU in July 2004. The credit union hired a trademark attorney and applied for a federal trademark on the Altana name, Rhonda Diefenderfer, president/CEO, told the newspaper. She added that finding a new name wasn’t easy. “This time, out of more than 300 names, we gave 90 to the attorney,” she told the paper. “Maybe four names survived in the formal search process.” Five years ago, credit union officials obtained permission from the National Credit Union Administration and Montana regulators to use the name Avanta, so the credit union thought it was in the clear, the paper said.


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