San Francisco Suing Oakland

( – The City of San Francisco has taken issue with the neighboring City of Oakland’s decision to rename their airport as the San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport, with the former filing a lawsuit to prevent the name change from happening.

The name change was approved by the Board of Commissioners for the Port of Oakland, which would replace the airport’s old name of Oakland International Airport.

In a statement, David Chiu, the city attorney for San Francisco, said that Oakland officials “refused to collaborate on an acceptable alternative [name],” leaving the Golden Gate City with no other recourse but to file the lawsuit in order to “protect SFO’s trademark.” San Francisco’s international airport is named after the city, which also owns a copyright on the name “San Francisco International Airport.”

Chiu also said that it seems that Oakland officials are attempting to “divert travelers” who do not know about Bay Area geography and mislead them into thinking that the San Francisco International Airport is related or has a business relationship with Oakland International Airport – “which it does not,” the SF city attorney stated. He added that the name change would be especially confusing for travelers who are not well-versed in English.

San Francisco International Airport’s three-letter identifier is SFO, while Oakland International Airport’s is OAK. Oakland International Airport will keep its identifier even after the name change.

For its part, officials from the Port of Oakland say that the name “does not infringe” on San Francisco City’s trademark. The name change rather, is a marketing decision, with the name itself derived from Oakland’s proximity to the San Francisco Bay. Danny Wan, who serves as executive director for the Port of Oakland, said that they decided to rename the airport after receiving feedback from airlines that it was hard to sell inbound tickets due to the “lack of name recognition.”

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