I spotted another company using my registered name

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawncuttinfoo, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    Does anyone have experience with this? What did you do?
  2. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    did you copyright/trademark your name?

    They could be registered in a different county.

    I'd get the name and number of the place and do some research on it. I guess if you are registered, you could put in for a "Cease/Desist" order.

    For example you might be registered as Mow More, LLC they could be registered as Mow-More INC, Mow More INC, MOW More by john smith LLC.....and just use Mow More on their trucks and ads....

    I would at the very least Draft a letter to all of your clients, making them aware that there is another contractor out there with the very same or similar name as yours and that you are bringing to their attention to be aware of any possible fraud/misrepresentation issues that could arise.
  3. S.I.

    S.I. LawnSite Senior Member
    from west
    Posts: 323

    Flatten their tires and run them off the road when you see them. Leave nasty messages on their voice mail, and throw dog crap on their porches, trucks, pets, and anything else you can get it to stick on. Just Kidding. I would first check with this company letting them know that they are using your registered/lisenced name (assuming that it is), and request that they stop. If that doesn't work then check with your attorney to see what can be done. At the very least inform your customers and as many other people as you can, so not to let this other company run your name into the ground.
  4. jimmyburg

    jimmyburg LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 701

    I couldnt agree more!
  5. pls8xx

    pls8xx LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64

    "I spotted another company using my registered name"

    I assume this means you are in compliance with Minnesota statutes per assumed name registration.


    If not registered, I suggest you do so. The forms can be found at your Secretary of State website ....


    Note that registration does not perfect your right to the name. But the Court did have this to say ....




    Wholesale Insulation Supply, Inc., petitioner,



    Mark Sommerville, et al.,


    Opinion ...... “While registration or reservation of a trade name is prima facie evidence of the validity, ownership, and right to use the name, that registration creates a rebuttable presumption; the owner still must prove infringement of the trade name to which he claims the ‘right.’” State by Anderson v. Reward Corp., 482 N.W.2d 815, 819 (Minn. App. 1992) (citation omitted), review denied (May 15, 1992). The owner of a registered trade name must present evidence of actual use of the trade name in business, in advertising, or in sale of goods to establish a protectable interest; registration alone is not sufficient. Id. “No rights accrue to one who merely selects a trademark without actual use of it in the advertising or sale of goods.” Id. (quoting Aveda Corp. v. Evita Mktg. Corp., 706 F.Supp. 1419, 1427 (D. Minn. 1989)).

  6. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,121

    In Delaware, if you register a name in your county, and someone from a neighboring county has the same name, they have to do business under a different name in your county. I have my name registered in all three counties just in case...
  7. coonman

    coonman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    This happened to us a couple of years ago. We called the guy and told him that we were legally registered with the state and that he would have to quit using our name. He was not registered obviously, because in OK it goes for the whole state I believe. He said he would change the name, we never saw or heard of them again.
  8. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    My legal company name is registered as an LLC. Which is state wide in MN. I have not filed an assumed name.

    According to:
    "who must file #2"

    this is enough for me.

    Wow, that case is interesing thanks for finding it, it looks like I had better find out if he has been operating longer than me and if so I guess he can come after me even though I am the one registered.
    (Why do we even register than, lol)

    Which will be difficult since he has no registered info. This really suc&^. There is really no one but him and his close frends-family that could tell me if advirtising/business has been done under this name prior to me doing business under the name. It seems I will have to make a guess.
  9. pls8xx

    pls8xx LawnSite Member
    Posts: 64


    You might also want to review the Minnesota statutes on deceptive trade practices.

    Subdivision 1. Acts constituting. A person engages in a deceptive trade practice when, in
    the course of business, vocation, or occupation, the person:
    (1) passes off goods or services as those of another;
    (2) causes likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship,
    approval, or certification of goods or services;
    (3) causes likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to affiliation, connection, or
    association with, or certification by, another;
    (4) uses deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with
    goods or services;
    (5) represents that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients,
    uses, benefits, or quantities that they do not have or that a person has a sponsorship, approval,
    status, affiliation, or connection that the person does not have;
    (6) represents that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned,
    reclaimed, used, or secondhand;
    (7) represents that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, or grade, or that
    goods are of a particular style or model, if they are of another;
    (8) disparages the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading
    representation of fact;
    (9) advertises goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised;
    (10) advertises goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public
    demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity;
    (11) makes false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for, existence
    of, or amounts of price reductions;
    (12) in attempting to collect delinquent accounts, implies or suggests that health care services
    will be withheld in an emergency situation; or
    (13) engages in any other conduct which similarly creates a likelihood of confusion or
    of misunderstanding.
    Subd. 2. Proof. In order to prevail in an action under sections 325D.43 to 325D.48,
    a complainant need not prove competition between the parties or actual confusion or
    Subd. 3. Other law. This section does not affect unfair, deceptive, or misleading trade
    practices otherwise actionable at common law or under other statutes of this state.
    History: 1973 c 216 s 2; 1986 c 444; 1988 c 592 s 11

    With the foregoing in mind, the following case should be interesting to you ...

  10. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    Ya, so somehow I need to find out if the guy has been doing business longer than me, how I do that without asking him will be next to impossible.

    I really do not see the benifit of registering with the state since it only matters who started first.

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