There’s only one certainty in this lawsuit: Morgan Stanley is going to win.
The Wall Street titan accused Morgan Stanley Capital LLC of improperly using the 83-year-old investment bank’s trademark and name. The entity, MSC, allegedly filed for a charter in Delaware in 2015 and tried to register itself in China.
“Morgan Stanley greatly values its name and trademarks, and protects them to maintain its reputation as one of the most respected companies in financial services worldwide,” according to the lawsuit, filed Nov. 5 in the Delaware Chancery Court.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. had a similar issue in 2015, when it insisted it had no relation to a Chinese firm using a nearly identical English and Chinese name. For Morgan Stanley, the issue is especially confusing because the bank has used the word “capital” in a number of its own subsidiaries.
MSC also tried to use the Morgan Stanley name in job postings on the internet, according to the lawsuit. A phone number for MSC couldn’t immediately be found, and there’s no lawyer listed for the company in court records.
To be sure, Morgan Stanley doesn’t have a complete lock on its name. Until earlier this year, one of its own employees happened to be named Morgan Stanley.
The case is Morgan Stanley v. Morgan Stanley Capital LLC, Case No. 2018-0801-JTL, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).