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.
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.
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