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Fight waged over 'Tangerine' name

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

A battle over who can use the 'Tangerine' moniker is being waged.

A battle over who can use the 'Tangerine' moniker is being waged.

A Vancouver company is in court fighting over the use of a citrus fruit's name in financial services after ING Direct changed its name to Tangerine earlier this year.

In an application filed March 19, Melvin Reeves with RSP Generation Limited Partnership claims he'd been working with a company called Tangerine Financial Products Corp. since 2008, and had in December 2012 bought the rights for that business.

Reeves claims he was working on an investment strategy that would use the fruit's name accompanied with a logo.

The claim says he went into a confidentiality agreement in 2013 with Scotiabank - which acquired ING Direct in 2012 - to sell that investment strategy. But just months later, Scotiabank announced it would rebrand ING to Tangerine.

Reeves is seeking an order to restrain Scotiabank and ING to use the name Tangerine. None of the allegations have been proven.

Reeves claims he had developed marketing materials and advertised the Tangerine brand from 2008 to 2010. But in April affidavits, ING chief marketing officer Andrew Zimakas claims the rebranding to Tangerine was first proposed in May last year and had been shortlisted as one of two finalists by the end of June.

Michael Conde, lawyer for ING and Scotiabank, said in his affidavit a website that Reeves claimed bore the Tangerine brand had simply displayed "coming soon" or was blank during various times in 2008 and 2009. In 2011 and 2012 the website redirected to

Today, the website displays a message indicating the domain name is reserved with no presence of Tangerine logos.


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