The AIMR isn't known for its litigation-slapping, bulldog tactics. But when the even-mannered group gets mad, it gets even.
The Association for Investment Management and Research has just won a lawsuit against the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India. The suit involves the use of AIMR's trademarked Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
"You can't start calling a soft drink Coca-Cola or a car Ford," said Mike Caccese, senior vice president and general counsel for the Charlottesville, Va.-based organization.
Organizations can't use or confer the CFA designation without permission from AIMR, which initially sanctioned the Institute to offer instruction and to award the CFA designation -- in India.
Things went fine until the Indian group opened an office in San Mateo, Calif., in 1995.
"Their license was only for use in India. We tried to convince them of their misdeeds and asked them to just change a letter. Their license in India was revoked in 1996; then we found out they were trying to register the CFA as a trademark in India and were claiming ownership to it. That's when we sued them," Mr. Caccese said.
A U.S. District Court judge in Virginia ordered the Indian group to stop using the CFA designation, as well as the phrases "chartered financial analyst" or "institute of chartered financial analysts."
Now if things would just move along in the Indian court, Mr. Caccese said, where AIMR's lawsuit has been idling a year and a half.