Truist settled its yearlong trademark dispute with Truliant Federal Credit Union, Bloomberg Law reported Wednesday, citing a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
Attorneys for both institutions told the court on Tuesday the case had been settled, but details of the deal were not available.
The crux of Truliant’s complaint lies in Truist’s use of "tru" in its name. The credit union has argued the bank’s new name represents "clear and intentional appropriation" of the Truliant brand. Truist, created last year in the merger between BB&T and SunTrust, asserted that more than 7,460 federal registrations use the prefix, and a "three-letter overlap is insufficient to warrant extraordinary relief."
Truliant this year commissioned a University of North Carolina professor to research potential marketplace confusion between the brands, whose footprints overlap.
The research found a 37.8% net likelihood of confusion among consumers within the credit union’s geographic field of membership, according to American Banker. Truist, claiming the research was biased and didn’t demonstrate actionable confusion, responded with its own survey that found confusion was at 3% or less.
Truist divulged in a May court filing it has spent $125 million on its new brand — and estimated it would cost $34 million, and take six to nine months — to change its name again. That action would also be subject to a shareholder vote.
Truliant, however, said it would fight as long as it must.
"Despite the investment which the defendants have made in the development of a new name, we remain steadfast behind the facts of the case which demonstrate the strength and vitality of the Truliant name," a Truliant representative said, according to American Banker. "We plan to continue protecting it as any business would."
Apart from the cost of rebranding, Truist said in its court filing "a second name change — no matter how well orchestrated — will extensively damage Truist’s reputation."
The credit union in February requested a preliminary injunction to prevent the bank from using the name while the case is open.
Last year's merger between BB&T and SunTrust forged the nation's sixth-largest bank.