Mirina, Marina wrangle over company name

Mirina Corporation has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Marina Biotech, according to Xconomy. The two developers are based in Seattle and Bothell, WA, respectively.

Marina Biotech was known until recently as MDRNA. But after completing a $46 million merger with Cequent earlier this year, the company chose to rename itself to reflect its RNA development work. Prior to its iteration as MDRNA, the company was known as Nastech and developed nasal-spray drugs.

Mirina is a startup founded in 2008 inside Seattle's venture-backed Accelerator. It focuses on developing drugs using minor groove binder technology to affect cellular processes involving microRNAs. Both Mirina and Marina pronounce their names the same way, something that has Mirina execs concerned. They fear outsiders won't be able to differentiate between the two companies. "We requested that they change their name," Carl Weissman, the CEO of Accelerator that founded Mirina, tells Xconomy. "They refused...This is an outcome that Mirina does not and did not want, but we feel they have left us no choice." Marina CFO Peter Garcia maintains that his company has reviewed the issues and doesn't believe a trademark issue exists.

- read the Xconomy article