Prime, Inc. trucking sues Amazon Prime for use of name

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Prime, Inc., a trucking company in Springfield is taking on Amazon Prime-- alleging trademark infringement. Around the Ozarks, we are all familiar with both Prime and prime, but our local Prime, Inc. says the global Amazon Prime is causing them to lose money, and allowing Amazon to profit at Prime Inc.'s expense.

Prime, Inc. doesn't like Amazon's use of the word "prime" on their tractor-trailers. Prime says they want "the greater of three times Amazon's profits or three times any damages it has sustained as a result of Amazon's past and current trademark infringement and related unfair competition," according to a lawsuit filed in the U.S District Court, Western District of Missouri.

Prime Inc. claims it notified Amazon of the alleged trademark infringement more than two years ago, but says Amazon persisted in displaying the prime name on their trucks-- alleging "Amazon's infringement and unfair competition are therefore intentional, willful, and malicious."

Prime Inc., released this statement to KY3 News:

"We believe the lawsuit filed in Federal Court in the Western District of Missouri speaks for itself. For nearly 40 years, Prime Inc. has used its distinctive trademarks to identify itself as a trusted leader in the transportation industry, and over those decades, it has developed and enjoyed significant goodwill among its customers, drivers, and the public at large. Prime is currently the largest refrigerated trucking company in North America.

Amazon’s relatively new use of “Prime”, particularly when not accompanied by the word “Amazon”, on the sides of its trailers transporting goods has caused and threatens to continue to cause confusion in the market. Amazon’s usage, for example, makes it difficult to ascertain the true owner of tens of thousands of trailers, when necessary. While Prime Inc. never enters into litigation lightly, it is committed to protecting its valuable name and the unique reputation it has worked so hard to earn."