Bank of America logs win in lawsuit over virtual assistant Erica

Bank of America logs win in lawsuit over virtual assistant Erica

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. logged a win last week as it continues to battle a trademark dispute over its virtual financial assistant, Erica.

Erik Underwood, a Colorado resident and founder of My24HourNews.Com Inc., filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court in Colorado on Sept. 11, 2018, in which he requested a preliminary injunction to stop BofA's usage of Erica. Underwood developed his own virtual assistant, known as E.R.I.C.A., and trademarked it in Georgia in 2010.

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E.R.I.C.A., an acronym for electronic repetitious informational clone application, is an avatar with dark hair and blue eyes that was initially designed as a virtual news anchor. Underwood modified it to serve as a search engine and personal assistant.

District Judge Raymond Moore ruled in BofA's favor in a partial summary judgment filed on Friday. The judge ordered that Georgia's Secretary of State cancel Underwood's trademark because E.R.I.C.A. was not used as described in the application prior to trademark approval. That's a requirement for use-based applications and makes the trademark null and void.

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