Orlando International Airport Sues Orlando Melbourne Airport Over Name Dispute
The ongoing name dispute between Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Orlando-Melbourne International Airport (MLB) came to a head on Tuesday.
After a series of failed negotiations, meetings and attempts to settle the score that has been heating up since 2015, MCO airport officials are suing MLB over its name, claiming trademark infringement and false advertising in the US District Court, according to USA Today.
MCO alleges that MLB's use of "Orlando" is confusing and misleading to travelers. “Illegal advertisements are intended to cause consumers to stop booking airline flights to GOAA’s Orlando International Airport, and opt instead to mistakenly fly to Melbourne International Airport,” states the lawsuit. It also claims that the use of the Orlando name implies that MLB “is located in or is closer to Orlando and Orlando area attractions than it actually is.” MLB is located 70 miles away from Orlando in Florida in Brevard County, which is about an hour drive.
The lawsuit aims to ultimately bar MLB's aviation board from using "Orlando" in its airport's name, advertising or promotional materials. They are also asking the court to have MLB exhibit a "retraction statement" on its website for a minimum of one year. MCO also requests MLB pay damages and attorney's fee following the suit.
However, MLB Airport Authority refutes these claims, stating that the argument does not have merit. It specifically cites how Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) uses Boston whilst also serving the same market as Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). They also contended that there has been little or no confusion among travelers about the airport's location due to its name.
So far, no court dates have been scheduled yet.