Port of Oakland seeks Court’s confirmation that new airport name does not constitute trademark infringement

Port countersuit also requests Court determination that no one owns or has trademark rights to the San Francisco Bay

Oakland, Calif.—May 9, 2024: The Port of Oakland (OAK) announced today that it has responded to San Francisco’s prematurely-filed lawsuit over OAK’s proposed name modification with a lawsuit of its own. In its Answer and Counterclaim, the Port asked the Court to rule that the name “San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport” does not infringe upon SFO’s trademark in its airport name.

The Port disputes that the new name will create confusion with consumers as passengers booking flights into the region—like travelers to other major metropolitan areas throughout the world—will understand that the San Francisco Bay Area can contain more than one airport.

The Port is asking for a declaratory judgment, which is a ruling by the Court that the new name does not infringe upon SFO’s trademark – including when used with the Port’s I FLY OAK logo or the Airport’s IATA code (OAK) – and that SFO’s trademark does not extend to use of “San Francisco Bay.” Unlike the San Francisco City Attorney’s lawsuit, the Port of Oakland is not seeking financial compensation or damages in its filing. The Port’s countersuit sets forth the compelling reasons and rationale for the name change.

“The San Francisco’s City Attorney’s decision to pursue litigation is an attempt to stop consumer education, prevent expanded air travel options for Bay Area residents and visitors, and is a misguided use of San Francisco taxpayer dollars,” said Port Attorney Mary Richardson. “OAK is committed to enhancing its airline routes and increasing competition for the benefit of all of San Francisco Bay Area’s visitors and residents, including those residing in the City and County of San Francisco. We stand ready and willing to partner with SFO to increase choices for travelers and invite any productive dialogue to this end.”

“Changing ‘Metropolitan’ to ‘San Francisco Bay’ in Oakland Airport’s name accurately describes OAK’s geographic location on the Bay and presents the airport as an additional choice for travel into the San Francisco Bay Area,” added Richardson. “SFO’s lawsuit is a disappointing and anticompetitive effort to discourage competition and choice, and we are confident the Court will agree.”

The Port is moving forward with the name change and will be updating its branding while it seeks prompt rulings from the court and continues its efforts to improve and expand air travel options into the San Francisco Bay Area.

You can access a copy of the Port’s response to San Francisco’s lawsuit HERE.

About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland generates vital economic activity, community benefits, and environmental innovation as it decarbonizes its operations for a cleaner and greener future. Along with its partners, the Port supports more than 98,000 regional jobs and $174 billion in annual economic activity. The Port oversees San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport, the Oakland Seaport, and nearly 20 miles of waterfront, including Jack London Square and a publicly owned utility. The Port of Oakland is Everyone’s Port! Connect with the Port of Oakland and San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport through Facebook and Twitter or with the Port on LinkedIn, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.

About San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport

San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport (OAK) is the main airport for the greater East Bay, the most populated area in the metropolitan San Francisco Bay area. It is the closest airport to most Bay Area employers. By roadway and BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) air-rail, OAK enables excellent access to all the region’s business, entertainment, and tourism venues. The vision of San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport is to be the airport of choice for San Francisco Bay Area residents and visitors alike. OAK is operated by the Port of Oakland, which also oversees the Oakland seaport and 20 miles of East Bay waterfront. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 98,000 jobs in the region with more than a $174 billion economic impact.

Updates about current departure and arrival information, airport maps, and details about on-airport parking, shopping and dining and more, can be found at www.oaklandairport.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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Kaley Skantz
OAK Airport Spokesperson
San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport
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Robert Bernardo
Communications Director
Port of Oakland
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