How Sun got its Name

Names are very unique and provide meaningful expressions for businesses. A company’s name gives identity to the company and creates value and memorability for customers. Although a name’s meaning can easily be an overlooked aspect of a business, there is usually a fascinating story behind why it was chosen. So how did Sun get its name?

trucks with the ‘Anderson’ logo

The story of Sun’s name begins when Victor E. Anderson started the company in 1930. The original name was the V.E. Anderson Manufacturing Company. Another window company named Andersen was, and still is, one of the largest window companies in the world. Due to the similarity in the two companies’ names, the V.E. Anderson Manufacturing Company decided to create a logo with a sun burst around “son” in the name Anderson, which was copy righted. They did this to set their name apart from Andersen.

During the early 1960’s, Andersen sued V.E. Anderson over the right to use the Anderson name in connection to the window business. V.E. Anderson prevailed in the lawsuit, but, in 1968, V.E. Anderson Manufacturing Company was purchased by Alcan. Several years later in 1973, Alcan dissolved the V.E. Anderson Manufacturing Company and changed the name to Alcan Building Products. Alcan also sold the Anderson naming rights and copyrights to Andersen Windows.

When Victor E. Anderson’s son Robert E. Anderson purchased the facilities in Owensboro and re-started the company in 1979, the company could not use the name Anderson due to the previous law suit. In order to keep some connection to the Anderson name and copy right, Robert E. Anderson came up with the name “Sun” with a sunburst logo. Within a year of startup, Andersen sent Sun a cease and desist order for the company name. Andersen was a large company with a team of lawyers working to protect their company’s name.

Fortunately, with good timing and luck, Robert E. Anderson had the opportunity to play golf with the VP of marketing for Andersen. After sharing the above story with Andersen’s VP of marketing, Robert took the chance to ask if Sun could buy the sun burst copy right back and continue to use the name “Sun” rather than litigate the matter. Andersen’s VP of marketing agreed. The deal was officially done in 1989 and that is how a new company named Sun Windows was formed.

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