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Spring Hill limousine service files suit against competitor

A Spring Hill limousine service is suing a competitor in Circuit Court for alleged misuse of a registered identification mark used in advertising.

Dana Fiorini, president of Coachworks Limousine Service, claims that J&M Limo & Charters of Spring Hill has illegally used a "service mark" that Fiorini received in October, court documents show.

Records show that on Oct. 2 the Florida Department of State gave Fiorini permission to use the words "private car" as a service mark in advertising.

A service mark is used in advertising or sales to identify the services of a particular company, similar in concept to a trademark.

In a civil lawsuit filed Wednesday, Fiorini claims that J&M used his service mark in a December newspaper advertisement. The suit seeks an injunction to stop any illegal use of the mark, elimination of all promotional materials that illegally bear the mark and any monetary reimbursement for business Coachworks may have lost because of misuse.

Coachworks, established April 28, 1988, is at 4169 Lamson Ave. J&M is a few miles away at 2297 Laredo Ave., state records show.

Maria Woop, J&M's registered agent, said Thursday that she wasn't surprised by the filing and didn't think Fiorini had a case.

"In this business everybody needs a gimmick and this took us quite some time and money to come up with," Fiorini said. "There comes a point where imitation is not a form of flattery."

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