An interior designer for mega hedge fund, Och-Ziff, was cruising through the ritzy Mayfair neighbourhood in London when she saw a sign saying, OCH Capital.
She assumed the sign was actually for Och-Ziff. So did two others – an i-banker and an art consultant.
Dan Och, presumably outraged, filed a lawsuit in the name of Och-Ziff, his hedge fund, against the offending London investment firm, called OCH Capital, to block use of the Och name, which Thomas Ochocki claimed he used because people found “Ochocki” too hard to pronounce.
Dan Och knew better. Ochocki is easy to pronounce. It’s pratically a palindrom, which are by definition among the easiest words to pronounce. Thomas Ochocki was just trying to scam on his the Och name and pristine reputation.
The judge agreed. If those people had been confused by the name, the judge argued, then consumers may be confused too, which could lead investors to put money with OCH Capital when really, they want to be part of the Och-Ziff family instead (obviously).
Och-Ziff also repeatedly ask OCH Capital to change its name, and though Ochocki said he would modify the name to the intials, O.C.H., no changes were made.
So Ochocki gave his excuse, that colleagues and clients had trouble pronouncing his surname so he just used the first three letters to simplfy things, and the judge saw right through it.
Nice try Tom.
“OCH is strongly distinctive for financial services,” Arnold said in the judgment. “There is a manifest likelihood of confusion on the part of both types of consumer.”