Mr. Lube Says "I Don't" to Ms. Lube

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic
mr lube says i don t to ms lube

The battle of the sexes heats up as Mr. Lube takes Ms. Lube to court for trademark infringement.

The well-know automotive repair chain alleges that the new mechanic in town – Toronto, Ontario to be exact – is using its name to create a suggestive play on words that is designed to attract customers away from Mr. Lube.

Officially known as Ms. Lube by Mechanchik, the all-woman car repair shop was founded by 37-year-old Jessica Gilbank. She appeared on the Canadian TV show “Dragon’s Den,” where participants present business plans in the hopes of attracting investors and start-up money. Interestingly enough, one of the judges was the co-owner of Mr. Lube. He didn’t hand over money, just a warning about impending trouble. Three months later, Gilbank was presented with a lawsuit for $240,000 from Mr. Lube.

Gilbank says the lawsuit is just an attempt by Mr. Lube to bully her out of business by bankrupting her with legal costs. “It is very representative of the machismo and the male chauvinism that exists in the trade, that they would want to do this to the very first all-female shop,” she said.

The idea of Ms. Lube came to Gilbank when she noticed that female apprentices find it almost impossible to break into the male-dominated world of car repair.

“I thought it would be nice to create sort of an incubator situation where the environment was about mechanics and not about gender dynamics,” she said. “In the automotive environment, guys tend to be real jokers who play practical jokes on each other and goof off. You are surrounded by this bubble of goofiness. Women want to read the instructions and do the job thoroughly and right.”

Do you think it’s a rip-off of a well-known trademark name or an attempt to keep a good woman down? Leave your comments below.

[Source: The Globe and Mail]

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3 of 49 comments
  • Jeff Williams Jeff Williams on Mar 19, 2014

    Of course its a rip off I would think that it is the same chain with a branding twist Mr Lube, MS Lube... Yeah same owners just on part of the chain is geared to women. It was totally stupid to think you could get away with this! Common sense at its finest (NOT). And the

  • ImWomanImMechanic ImWomanImMechanic on Jan 27, 2015

    I'm the only woman in my automotive class. I have multiple certifications and I'm also African American. I've been told on at least two occasions by shops here in Mississippi that they had a change of heart on employment due to possibly alienating customers. My instructor finds interviews for me and backs up my hard work and know-how but unfortunately i dont look like a mechanic. Its absolutely insulting to be asked if im truly the technician being interviewed countless times before asking my name. -Lj

    • Sabre Tooth Tigger Sabre Tooth Tigger on Feb 05, 2015

      People are not the smartest on first thoughts quite often. Its amazing how cliche ideas people have, you have an up hill struggle but I'd employ just because of that so long as I was you loyal/capable