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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Uber’s Otto being sued by Canadian manufacturer for trademark infringement

Clearpath Robotics, a Canadian maker of autonomous robots, that includes a division of self-driving warehouse robots named Otto.

Clearpath is suing Uber’s Otto, the full name of which is Ottomotto, for infringing on its “Otto” trademark.

According to the complaint submitted to US District Court for Northern California on Aug. 24, Clearpath is worried that Otto’s use of the “Otto” brand “is likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception as the affiliation, connection or association of Defendant with Plaintiff.” Per the filing, it sounds like that’s already happened:

Due to the highly similar nature of the marks, Clearpath has already received misdirected inquiries from

the press, including a contact requesting that someone from Clearpath participate on Sirius XM’s trucking channel to discuss “Otto self-driving trucks,” as a result of a “recent article”;
potential customers have communicated interest in outfitting a tractor trailer with “OTTO,” and
Clearpath’s current customers, referencing the May 2016 Wired story on Defendant’s Otto, inquired if the trucking system is related to products offered by Clearpath. Since the announcement of the impending acquisition of Defendant by non-party Uber, Clearpath has also received numerous additional inquiries evidencing actual confusion.

Clearpath filed a Canadian trademark application for “Otto” in September 2015. It filed one with the US Patent and Trademark Office this February. Ottomoto filed a trademark application for “Otto” with the USPTO roughly one month later, on March 6, 2016.

An attorney for Clearpath declined to comment beyond the court filings. Uber and Otto also declined to comment. Otto has yet to formally respond to Clearpath’s complaint, according to a database of electronic court records.