Legal & Courts  February 2, 2024

Vertix v. Vertex: It’s all in a name

FIRESTONE — A Firestone-based contractor that specializes in medical and cultural facilities such as museums and zoos has filed a lawsuit against a similarly named construction company with a Boulder location, claiming trademark infringement and unfair competition.

The case is Vertix Builders Inc. versus Vertex Builders LLC.

The filing includes artwork showing the similarity in the trademarks that the two companies use.

Vertix is based at 178 First St. in Firestone. Vertex’s office is listed with the Secretary of State as 1942 Broadway St., Suite 314C, Boulder.

Vertix began operations in the state in 2014 and has worked in 11 states. Vertex filed with the Colorado Secretary of State in May 2023. It is a California company that has branched out with its work in less-specialized construction fields such as commercial malls, the lawsuit said. It advertises itself as “a general contracting firm that specializes in retail, restaurant and shellwork.” It also lists “retail, medical and industrial markets.” 

The Vertix and Vertex trademarks. Source: Federal lawsuit records

Vertix’s website, Vertixbuilders.com, is similar to the website that the lawsuit listed for Vertex, vertex-buildersllc.com. That website, as of Friday, would not open when access was attempted.

Vertix claims that its customers have been confused by the similar names; it expressed concern over its reputation in the speciality construction markets where it does business. 

The lawsuit said that the companies have communicated about what Vertix sees as trademark infringement, and at one point Vertix agreed to let Vertex use the marks in California, Washington and Oregon but not in other markets. Vertex did not respond to that offer, thus prompting the lawsuit under federal copyright law.

The lawsuit seeks an order declaring that Vertex has unfairly used Vertix’s trademarks, a permanent injunction, an order requiring Vertex to destroy all materials with the similar trademark, and damages including the award of “all profits derived by defendant by reason of the acts complained of herein.”

An attempt to reach Vertex for comment was not successful prior to publication time. Another company with a similar name, Vertex Homes, is not connected.  A Vertex Cos. located in Denver is an environmental consulting firm and did not appear to be connected. Vertex, by the way, is defined as “the highest point.”

The case is Vertix Builders Inc. versus Vertex Builders LLC, case number 24cv00226, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.

Two companies with similar names, trademarks face off in court.

Ken Amundson
Ken Amundson is managing editor of BizWest. He has lived in Loveland and reported on issues in the region since 1987. Prior to Colorado, he reported and edited for news organizations in Minnesota and Iowa. He's a parent of two and grandparent of four, all of whom make their homes on the Front Range. A news junkie at heart, he also enjoys competitive sports, especially the Rapids.
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