TORONTO — A gender war is under way between the Mr. Lube chain of more than 100 auto service centres and a competitor called Ms. Lube.
Mr. Lube has taken the dispute to court, alleging Ms. Lube is hitching a ride on its well-known trademark.
In a statement of claim, Mr. Lube accuses Ms. Lube of using its name to create a play on words designed to siphon off its customers.
But Jessica Gilbank, the founder of Ms. Lube, says Mr. Lube is trying to bully her out of business by bankrupting her with legal costs.
Gilbank says the court action is “very representative of the machismo and the male chauvinism that exists in the trade.”
Mr. Lube is seeking $250,000 in punitive damages and an injunction to prevent Ms. Lube from using its name and trademark.
Gilbank created Ms. Lube a year ago, after she noticed that female apprentices find it almost impossible to break into car repair.
Known officially as Ms. Lube by Mechanchik, the garage is located in Toronto’s Little Italy neighbourhood.