Uber allegedly forces Fairfield business to close

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FAIRFIELD -

Sen. Richard Blumenthal says he is investigating the ride-sharing giant Uber for allegedly forcing a small business in Fairfield to shut down due to a similar name.

Dawn Marie Ganino opened her business, UberSalon, one year ago and she says she was making money and doing great.

UberSalon was based on the motto, "We bring the salon to you." The business consisted of a group of haircutters who made house calls.

Recently, Uber sent Ganino a letter over an alleged trademark violation. Not wanting an expensive legal battle, Ganino shut down, leaving 20 stylists out of work.

"It's heartbreaking to have your business crushed and that's what happened to me," Ganino said.

Sen. Blumenthal says the corporate giant does not have the legal right to lay exclusive claim to the word 'Uber,' and he says by doing so, the company was being a bully.

He says if a company wants to call itself UberSalon, or have the word uber in the name in general, it should be able to. Ganino says she has no intention of trying to get her business going again, but she just wants the world to know what happened. She says she has gone back to cutting hair at a brick-and-mortar salon in Fairfield and hopes no other small business will have to go through what she did.

In a statement, Uber said, "We appreciate UberSalon's interest in our on-demand delivery service model, but we requested that they not use our protected trademark to promote it. As a trademark holder, Uber has an obligation to police unauthorized uses of its trademark. The letter we sent in December asked UberSalon to transition to another name, not to shut down."

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