• Bank of America faces trademark lawsuit over virtual assistant Erica

    By: Caroline Hudson, Charlotte Business Journal


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. is facing a trademark lawsuit over its use of Erica, a virtual financial assistant it rolled out this year.

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    Erica is powered by artificial intelligence and accessible through BofA’s mobile app. It helps customers check balance information, manage spending, transfer money and set up in-person appointments. BofA launched Erica in March and completed its rollout to all customers this summer.

    Challenging BofA’s Erica trademark is Erik Underwood, a Colorado resident and founder of My24HourNews.Com Inc. Underwood registered his virtual assistant, known as E.R.I.C.A., as a trademark in Georgia in October 2010. E.R.I.C.A. is an acronym for electronic repetitious informational clone application. It was initially designed as a virtual news anchor, but Underwood since modified her to serve as a search engine and personal assistant.

    E.R.I.C.A. features a female avatar with dark hair and blue eyes.

    BofA, on the other hand, calls the case one of extortion.

    Read the full story here.

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