Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Lyft glowing mustache trade dress

Lyft is permitted to use a small glowing pink mustache as their trade dress. Their previous trade dress was a large oversized fluffy Pink mustache. This flamingo-looking trade dress blocked car grills, causing some cars to overheat. But now, this ridesharing company can use a small glowing pink mustache on their dashboards. However, Uber's past glowing "U" lights are unacceptable, unapproved trade dresses under TNC policies. Why does Lyft get special treatment?

Lyft is an on-demand ridesharing service similar to UberX. They provide ridesharing services in many U.S. cities. Lyft drivers are known to make 20-30% more money than experienced UberX drivers. This is made possible because Lyft is forgiving all commission beyond 40 hours. 

Typically, an UberX driver would have to earn above $2000+ (60+ hours) to match what Lyft drivers make driving 40 hours. Nevertheless, UberX drivers are given the freedom to drive in many markets rather than be trapped inside approved cities. Flexibility is the key to enjoy ridesharing services. 

Lyft is given special treatment to use a glowing pink mustache. Their ridesharing drivers are allowed to plug in these small Pink mustaches to identify their ride service. Uber drivers are required to use a plan box-shaped "U" trade dress. In the past, all Uber drivers could use a glowing "U" light to identify their ride app service. Since then, this "U" is no longer an approved trade dress. 

Lyft is skirting the rules and/or getting favoritism to use these Pink glowing mustache lights. In contrast, Uber drivers are restricted access to using the glowing "U" lights.  

Request the CPUC to return the glowing "U" light trade dress. This trade dress allows Uber clients to see Uber vehicles approach them at night. Not all Uber clients can visibly see the new "U" trade dress. Uber drivers are not complaining that "U" lights are banned. However, these Uber drivers should have a choice between using this former trade dress as opposed to the current "U" trade dress. 

Lyft is getting the upper-hand again. They unfairly deactivate good drivers based on a severely flawed rating and feedback system. Then, this ridesharing company implement a 0% commission-based forgiveness to stimulate the supply of drivers. Finally, this on-demand ridesharing platform is given a free pass to use a glowing Pink mustache as their approved trade dress. 

What is the secret Lyft? Why is your ridesharing platform still active? Axing drivers and ignoring rider complaints haven't spread enough bad word-of-mouth yet? Your vomiting riders haven't ruined your business model? We guess forgiving commission, paying drivers $250 per vomit incident and major print advertising are expanding your reach. 

Who would have predicted that Lyft could compete against UberX? In 2015, Lyft drivers are still driving on the roads at all hours. Can this ridesharing company survive approving unprofessional drivers? Keep up with the deep-pocketed Uber corporation? Use a trade dress that mimics the banned "U" light? How far can you go Lyft? We'll see soon.