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Hermes Sports & Events on Wednesday dropped a federal trademark lawsuit against St. Malachi Parish that sought to prevent the West Side church from using its own name in an annual benefit race, a move that angered local racers, parishioners and church supporters.

The racing company, a ubiquitous presence for runs across Northeast Ohio, said in a statement that the company will not use St. Malachi's name in reference to any future races in which it is involved.

"We remain sorry that our longstanding relationship with St. Malachi reached this point," Hermes' statement says. "We have no interest in debating this further or in arguing with an old friend, so we believe this is now the best course for all involved and wish St. Malachi well in its future works."

Hermes' decision to drop its federal lawsuit less than a month after it was filed came after public reaction seemed to turn against the company. In the eyes of many angered by the lawsuit, the feud between Hermes and St. Malachi involved a large for-profit company picking on a small Catholic church known for its community outreach.

Matt Cavanagh, St. Malachi's attorney, said Wednesday the parish is pleased that Hermes decided to drop the lawsuit and that the company "couldn't take ownership of the church's 150-year-old name.

"The parish obviously wishes that the realization had come sooner. We see this voluntary dismissal as a vindication of our ownership rights in our own name," Cavanagh continued adding that the church is grateful for the support it received.

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