Published Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010 | 7:37 p.m.
Updated Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010 | 7:57 p.m.
The Las Vegas-area bus system has stopped using the “ACE” name for some premium buses and routes after it was sued for trademark infringement by Ace Cab Inc.
Tracy Bower, director of government affairs for the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, said Tuesday that sometime after the lawsuit was filed May 5, the RTC made the business decision to drop the ACE name “in order to avoid a lengthy legal battle.”
Court records show attorneys for the RTC have not yet filed a response in court to the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for Nevada in Las Vegas.
Under a proposed settlement with Ace Cab and its owner Frias Holding Co., the RTC would stop using the ACE name but not pay financial damages.
Ace Cab and Frias said in the lawsuit they’ve been using the Ace name since 1963 serving local and tourist taxi riders.
The lawsuit alleging trademark infringement says that on March 28, the RTC launched two bus lines under the ACE Gold Line and ACExpress brands and that another line was being developed called the ACE Green Line.
“By using ACE marks and/or marks confusingly similar to plaintiffs’ trademarks with the knowledge that plaintiffs own and have used, and continue to use, their trademark in Las Vegas, and beyond, defendant has intended to cause confusion, cause mistake or deceive consumers,” Ace Cab charged in its lawsuit, filed by attorneys with the Las Vegas office of the law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP.
Beginning a few weeks ago, the ACE name started disappearing from buses, bus stops and advertising material including the RTC website. Bower said the RTC has until Nov. 7 to remove all of the ACE signage and material from its system. It is expected to cost about $70,000 to change bus station signage, including ACE insignias in concrete, and decals on buses, Bower said.
The RTC’s ACE Gold line connecting downtown and the Las Vegas Strip has been renamed the Strip and Downtown Express.
The ACExpress from Centennial Hills to downtown is now called the Centennial Express.
The ACE Green Line on Boulder Highway will be called the Boulder Highway Express.
An ACE line planned for Sahara Avenue will be called the Sahara Express.
The RTC has a separate Deuce service connecting downtown and the Strip that was unaffected by the change, as was the RTC’s MAX service on Las Vegas Boulevard North.
The ACE name isn’t the only name change at the RTC in recent years. The system’s old CAT name — standing for Citizens Area Transit — has been phased out in favor of the RTC Transit name.