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NanoSteel files intellectual property lawsuit

Keywords: Tags  NanoSteel, Green Nano Steel, GNS, trademark infringement, Teresa Tucker, John Wong, high-strength steel, construction oil and gas

NEW YORK — NanoSteel Co. Inc. has filed a lawsuit against high-strength steel company Green Nano Steel for alleged trademark infringement.

NanoSteel claims the company wrongfully appropriated its trademark "NanoSteel" name and photographs, and used the name in its website domain, potentially misleading potential customers and harming Providence, R.I.-based NanoSteel’s reputation.

"It’s more about possible damage to the company’s good will that we can’t control. We don’t know what the reputation of this company is," NanoSteel legal counsel Teresa Tucker told AMM. "It’s more of an unquantifiable kind of damage."

NanoSteel asked Green Nano Steel to relinquish the name last August, the lawsuit states.

Green Nano Steel maintained its website until after the lawsuit was filed in February, when the lawyer for defendant John Wong, the Redondo, Calif.-based company’s vice president of sales and marketing, advised dropping the name, Wong told AMM.

Green Nano Steel is start-up company that plans to contract mills in Taiwan to make high-strength steel for sale to the U.S. building, mining, and oil and gas sectors, he said.

The lawsuit was filed Feb. 13 in U.S. District Court in central California, but Wong said that he was unsure if it was ongoing.

"On Feb. 15, there was a verbal agreement that there’s not going to be any legal action as long as we abide by the agreement that we don’t use the name Nano Steel," Wong said, noting that it has instead elected to call itself GNS, which he said isn’t necessarily an acronym for Green Nano Steel.

Any similarity in the companies’ names was coincidental, Wong said. "We wouldn’t want anyone to violate our IP (intellectual property). Why would we want to violate anyone else’s IP?" he added.

Meanwhile, Tucker said that the lawsuit hasn’t been dropped because Wong hasn’t fulfilled all the terms of the agreement.

"We require something in writing, generally. We went through the trouble of filing the lawsuit after he ignored us for several months and he then made some changes, Tucker said. "(But) we have other terms as well. We’re not accepting GNS as a substitute."

Wong hopes to settle out of court this week, he said.

NanoSteel declined to comment.

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