Virgin sues over ‘spurious’ claims about brand value
Virgin Enterprises is suing a US railway company for $251m (£182m) after the operator called into question its brand value by dropping the Virgin name from its trains.
Brightline, which had a 20-year licensing deal allowing it to rebrand as Virgin Trains USA in exchange for royalties, is claiming Virgin is no longer “a brand of international high repute” due to the pandemic.
Countering these claims, Virgin says Brightline is reneging on the agreement signed in 2018 and describes the claims the brand has been damaged as “cynical and spurious”.
While suspended since March due to the pandemic, the Virgin Trains USA route did run between Miami and West Palm Beach in Florida, with plans to extend the line to Orlando to connect tourists visiting Disney World. Virgin says Brightline cannot scrap the contract until 2023 at the earliest and would still be subject to fees.
Virgin has been hit …