HUNTINGTON - Ashland Inc. is suing Kwik Lube Inc. for trademark infringement by wrongfully using the Valvoline trademark.

Ashland Inc. is doing business as Valvoline. Ashland Licensing and Intellectual Property LLC is also a plaintiff in the suit.

Kwik Lube advertises its store to the general public through signs and displays both on the building itself and around the building, according to a complaint filed Aug. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Huntington

The display of the Valvoline trademark is reserved for businesses under product supply or other agreement with Ashland/Valvoline authorizing the display of the trademark and logo.

The plaintiffs claim Kwik Lube is not under an agreement with Ashland/Valvoline and has no authority to display the Valvoline trademark or logo.

On Dec. 20, the plaintiffs, upon seeing the signs advertising Valvoline, sent the defendant a cease and desist letter, demanding the immediate removal of all Valvoline marks and warning that legal action will be taken if the defendant refused to comply, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the defendant continued to display the signage at its service center location, despite numerous requests.

The defendant's acts constitute trademark infringement and unfair competition under West Virginia code, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs are seeking that the Court issue a preliminary and permanent injunction requiring the defendant to immediately remove the signs bearing the trademarks from its facility and preventing the defendant from any further use of the trademarks in any fashion. They are being represented by J. David Bolen and Alexis B. Mattingly of Huddleston Bolen LLP.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Huntington case number: 3:13-cv-21768

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