In this corner, weighing in with total assets of $5 million to $10 million, is Key Investments Realty Advisors Inc., Tacoma.
In the opposite corner symbolically, but really just down Pacific Avenue, is Key Investments Inc., backed with $68 billion in assets from its parent - KeyCorp, Cleveland.
At stake is the name Key Investments.
Donald Arsenault, president of the real estate firm he founded in 1988, isn't backing down.
Mr. Arsenault claims the brokerage subsidiary of the bank holding company stole the name of his business when it opened its office in 1994. The securities brokerage offered to buy the rights to the Key name from Mr. Arsenault for $5,000 in 1994 and for $9,500 in 1995, he said.
Mr. Arsenault said his lawyer advised him to ask for $250,000, based on the amount Security Pacific Bank paid to a small one-branch bank in Walla Walla, Washington, for the rights to its name.
A KeyCorp spokeswoman said her company is trying to reach a mutually agreeable solution with Mr. Arsenault. "Although the names use the same word, the businesses are not competitors," she said. "We are not trying to use the big power of our corporation."
Mr. Arsenault said it's serious: Mail and telephone calls intended for the real estate firm gets sent to the brokerage firm.
"The mix-up and confusion is so bad that someone from their company sent me a box of training materials," said Mr. Arsenault. "The box was addressed to me personally."
Mr. Arsenault also claims the other Key's advertising agency had his firm's name deleted from the local telephone book's white pages.
The situation appears to be headed for court, but Mr. Arsenault said his firm has limited resources. "The court battle is estimated to take at least 10 months and I could expect to incur legal fees of $15,000 per month," he said. "I am just a one-man band."