ROANOKE, MARCH 1 -- Dominion Bankshares Corp. and Dominion Bank have filed suit against a Northern Virginia savings and loan with a similar name, alleging trade name infringement and unfair competition.

Dominion claims that its customers have confused the bank with Dominion Federal Savings and Loan Association of Tysons Corner.

The confusion is compounded because Dominion Bankshares has offices in the District of Columbia, its suburbs and throughout Virginia, according to papers filed in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.

The suit says the savings and loan's customers often come to Dominion Bank offices to conduct business, and that mail and telephone calls are frequently misdirected. The bank also complained that its reputation is being hurt because Dominion Federal is embroiled in litigation with Penthouse magazine.

The suit further points out that the bank has used the Dominion name since 1967, while the thrift's name dates only to 1974.

The suit asks the court to rule that the savings and loan's use of the Dominion name is trade name infringement and unfair competition and to order the cancelation of federal registrations of the Dominion Federal and Dominion Mortgage Center Inc. names. The suit also asks for unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.