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View Full Version : Business name: Legal or Not?


Chilehead
06-04-2009, 09:59 PM
Just the other day I was out mowing, when lo and behold I see another LCO sporting my business name on his truck word-for-word. So I approach this fellow and point it out to him that I have never seen him before, have been in business since 2002, and have my business name registered with the Secretary of State's office per GA law. He and I were both civil in our discussion and he stated that he honestly did not know that another company (me) already had the name listed, but has no intention of changing the name of his business. Up until now, I have used the common SM (used to use TM) after my logo. I now feel that to prevent the occurrence of my business name being heisted by some newbie that I need to register it with the Feds and thus use the "R" designation. Is this the only action I can take to prevent my trade name from being used elsewhere? :confused:

FYS777
06-04-2009, 10:52 PM
Just the other day I was out mowing, when lo and behold I see another LCO sporting my business name on his truck word-for-word. So I approach this fellow and point it out to him that I have never seen him before, have been in business since 2002, and have my business name registered with the Secretary of State's office per GA law. He and I were both civil in our discussion and he stated that he honestly did not know that another company (me) already had the name listed, but has no intention of changing the name of his business. Up until now, I have used the common SM (used to use TM) after my logo. I now feel that to prevent the occurrence of my business name being heisted by some newbie that I need to register it with the Feds and thus use the "R" designation. Is this the only action I can take to prevent my trade name from being used elsewhere? :confused:

here in OR. if you are registered with the state and have tax ID #, they can't use your name, this tells me they aren't legal........ that would be my bet....

CLARK LAWN
06-04-2009, 11:02 PM
here in OR. if you are registered with the state and have tax ID #, they can't use your name, this tells me they aren't legal........ that would be my bet....

same here in ohio talk to your lawyer and press the issue, if he goes around doing shoddy work under that name it could reflect badly on u.

FYS777
06-04-2009, 11:04 PM
same here in ohio talk to your lawyer and press the issue, if he goes around doing shoddy work under that name it could reflect badly on u.

no kidding ,I'd turn the outfit in pronto.

longblade
06-04-2009, 11:14 PM
Same here in Tx. If you have it registered as your DBA with the state or have LLC, or other corporation, they are in trouble! Its up to you to do something about it. Heís making money while using your co. name.
:weightlifter:

lilweeds
06-05-2009, 08:33 AM
Not true a DBA can be registered over and over. If you are a corp or LLC that give you some protection. Now if he was using you logo there's a problem. It will cause both of you headaches down the road, so one of you should change it.

bohiaa
06-05-2009, 09:15 AM
Not true a DBA can be registered over and over. If you are a corp or LLC that give you some protection. Now if he was using you logo there's a problem. It will cause both of you headaches down the road, so one of you should change it.

Great advice, I doubt someone else is using his logo. and I doubt it's copy righted

M&S_Lawncare
06-05-2009, 09:42 AM
Not true a DBA can be registered over and over. If you are a corp or LLC that give you some protection. Now if he was using you logo there's a problem. It will cause both of you headaches down the road, so one of you should change it.

NOT TRUE you can only register the same name once within your county or municipality as I ran into it with mine. I had to change an & to N looks and means about the same thing but they wouldn't let me register the way I wanted, now if I wanted to wait 2 more years until his DBA expired or if I wanted to track down said company and ask to sell me the name it would have been different....

And I just noticed I haven't changed or better yet dont know how to change my name on here to reflect it !!!!

I would contact yr lawyer and send a cease and desist letter to him or you will be filing suit for name infringement and loss of business associated with him having the same name.

Just my few pennies!!

LouisianaLawnboy
06-05-2009, 09:52 AM
Get a lawyer to send him a letter. I'll bet that will solve your problem.

lilweeds
06-05-2009, 02:54 PM
Not in PA the only names that can not be duplicated are the Corps/LLC. But there again you can add something like "landscaping" to the end of it to get around it. Again one of you should change your name, it will cause you a headache down the road!

mikey.hill
06-05-2009, 09:27 PM
Visit http://www.uspto.gov/ and see if there is a trademark on that name. The simple fact that you registered it in your state only gives you limited protection but the fact that you're in competing business within the same region gives you leverage. Even trademarking a name does not guarantee protection in these cases but under yours it would be covered. Now say some other company in an industry registered the name and you had already trademarked it, the legality of that is o.k. since you would not be competing.

One thing you should do while waiting to have your name/logo trademarked is put it in a sealed envelope, mail it to yourself and keep it unopened when it arrives. If there are ever any issues as to who trademarked first you can present your unopened name/trademark as proof that you owned it first.

Chilehead
06-06-2009, 09:49 AM
I will say that I am a sole proprietor. I don't know what the other guy is. Also, although his logo is different the trade name is the same as mine. Consequently, I did a search for my business name and there are 6 other companies nationally using my business name, but none of them have it registered with the Federal Trademark Office (whatever it's called). If I formally register would I have legal recourse to make the trade name exclusive to my business only?

Precedence
06-06-2009, 03:50 PM
This thread has been done before, go to this site and read up about trademark law:

http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/metaschool/fisher/domain/tm.htm#1

Also go and read this thread, some of the same issues were hashed over in there:

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=267844

This is a quote from me in that thread:

Trademark laws in the US and Canada are very similar, trademarks are automatically given to companies that use a name or symbol in a given regional location and a regional location can be as small as a specific county. So there can be many "Someguy Lawn Care" all over the country. However if an owner goes the extra step of registering the name "Someguy Lawn Care" with the federal Patent and Trademark Office then the name "Someguy Lawn Care" can only be used by that one owner in the whole nation. The exemption to this is limited, however, to the extent that the mark is already being used by others within a specific geographic area. If that is the case, then the prior user of the mark retains the right to use that mark within that geographic area; the party registering the mark gets the right to use it everywhere else. So an already existing "Someguy Lawn Care" in Chicago could still use it there but no new "Someguy Lawn Care" could be started anywhere else since the person who registered it has exclusive rights to use it everywhere else.

Greg78
06-06-2009, 04:09 PM
What is the name in question? I think LLC registration is only done with the state. So in theory you could have the same name operating in different states.

You will have to do some research, he possible has a different type of business entity. LLC, CORP, Sole Proprietorship, or Partnership etc etc.

longblade
06-06-2009, 06:51 PM
Not true a DBA can be registered over and over. If you are a corp or LLC that give you some protection. Now if he was using you logo there's a problem. It will cause both of you headaches down the road, so one of you should change it.

Not in Texas. Once you register your DBA name its yours. It covers your county and state. Odds are the other guy has not filed for a DBA. Also, if all you have done is register a DBA name and not Incorporated, then you are sole proprietor. :waving: