Schlumbergers is the latest U.S. steelmaker to lose a patent over the use of the term “super-quality” in its products.
The company filed a lawsuit against its rivals, including Steelworkers Local 6, on Friday.
In a news release, Schlumberges said that the “premium” part of the word implies “superior quality.”
Steelworkers, a union-backed labor group, sued Steelworkers in March.
The suit alleges that the term is a trademark, a trade secret, a “protected trade secret,” and an “unauthorized trademark” that “defines and describes a brand.”
Schlumberge said that it believes its use of “super quality” is “not disparaging or disparaging to competitors, nor does it suggest a superior product or service.”
In a statement to Ars, Schlumbeers spokeswoman Emily Hulbert said the word was chosen because it is “generally accepted” in the industry.
“This is not an issue that we take lightly, but it does require a bit of clarification,” Hulbert said.
“It’s really the right thing to do.
The word is not disparaging.
It’s the word we use in marketing and our company has always used the word.
The term is used in a number of places, but we have not been the focus of any other suit, and that’s the way it should be.”
Steel workers have argued that their union, which represents about 4,000 workers at the steelmaker, is entitled to a trademark because it represents an industry.
They also say the word could have negative connotations for workers, especially younger ones.
Steelworkers has filed lawsuits in several other countries.
The latest one is in California, where the group is suing a Chinese company, Jiaotong Machinery Industry Corp., for trademark infringement.
In October, the group filed a similar suit in Canada.
“The term ‘super quality’ is a very broad term that encompasses a wide range of products and services and is intended to describe a product or a service that is superior in quality or performance,” the lawsuit said.