Melbourne airport faces lawsuit over use of Orlando in name

Lawsuit claims airport's name is false, misleading

ORLANDO, Fla. – A recently filed lawsuit claims that Orlando Melbourne International Airport leaders were intentionally misleading consumers when they decided to incorporate Orlando into the airport's name.

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which oversees the Orlando International Airport, filed the lawsuit Tuesday, naming the Melbourne Airport Authority (MLB), which oversees Orlando Melbourne International Airport, as the defendant.

GOAA officials claim that MLB authorities used false and deceptive advertising and infringed OIA's trademark when they began incorporating Orlando into the airport's name in 2015, despite the fact that Melbourne is approximately 70 miles from Orlando.

"Given the passenger volume of Orlando International Airport, its established reputation, extensive capital investments, superior customer service amenities, and its location in Orlando, one of the Nation’s top tourism destinations, it is obvious that MLB is attempting to use the Illegal Advertisements to confuse customers in order to divert business from Orlando International Airport and misappropriate GOAA’s established goodwill and brand recognition of the Orlando International Airport Trademark," GOAA attorneys wrote.

The lawsuit alleges that MLB officials knew that nonsavvy travelers would book flights to OMIA thinking that it was actually in Orlando. Evidence of this claim includes comments made during an MLB board meeting in 2015 and information on the airport's website that lists the Orlando theme parks as nearby attractions, documents show.

GOAA attorneys are asking that MLB stop using Orlando in the airport's name, relinquish its website domain names that include "Orlando," issue a retraction statement concerning the airport's proximity to Orlando and pay GOAA any profits MLB earned as a result of the misleading advertisement.

MLB was unable to comment on the lawsuit.

To read the lawsuit in its entirety, click here.

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