Contractor ‘in the zone’ over name dispute with car parts store
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — John Bragorgos, owner of ClimateZone Air Con-ditioning & Heating here in Memphis, figures most people should know the difference between furnaces, air conditioners and auto parts.
That’s why he was surprised when the auto parts giant AutoZone Inc. filed suit against him for using the word “zone” in his business’ name. AutoZone said it is merely enforcing and protecting its trademark rights.
According to an article in The Commercial Appeal, a Memphis newspaper, Bragorgos in April bought an interest in Ferrell Air Conditioning and Heating, begun by Jerry Ferrell. Bragorgos didn’t want to confuse people by bringing another Ferrell name into the hvac business, so he came up with the name ClimateZone. He said he also checked on the Internet since the suit was filed and has come across thousands of companies that have the word “zone” in their names.
Ironically, Bragorgos said he worked for AutoZone for several years. He said he left the company’s employment in good standing.