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Business Name Infringement Trademark

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by mariabodmann, Oct 17, 2011.

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  1. mariabodmann

    mariabodmann Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello,

    Bali & Beyond is a performing arts and eduction company that also imports products from Bali including recordings, musical instruments, and art, furnishings and decorator items. We are based in Los Angeles and perform, teach and sell products worldwide including the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and various nations in Asia.

    We have been in business under the name of Bali & Beyond since 1990, including business bank accounts, credit cards and fictitious business name documents. Records have been kept up to date since 1990.

    I just discovered a Canadian company which imports products from Bali has taken the exact name of my business. They are selling similar items as I am.

    My question is: Are they allowed to use the same name AND sell the same products? If not, is it worth it to pursue legal recourse?

    Thanks so much for any help, ideas, advice.

    maRia
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    They are probably infringing on your trademark.

    But, what is that worth?

    Hard to say.

    I suggest you speak to a couple local attorneys about this matter. The initial consultation is at no cost to you, usually.

    You've got much to gain, little to lose.
     
  3. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    1. Did you register a federal trademark for your business?

    Under US trademark law it is perfectly permissible to have a local trademark, e.g. registered or not registered in one state. If you open an ice cream store in Phoenix, Arizona named "Jimmy Bob Green Truck Ice Cream", it may only be known to local residents to stop by to pick up a cone or milk shake. This does not stop another business from opening up an ice cream store using the same name in Portland, Maine. The residents and patrons in Portland could very likely never have heard of the store in Phoenix and, in general, there wouldn't be a likelihood of confusion in the minds of the marketplace in each location.

    2. Canada is another country entirely. This may be perfectly permissible. I assume you haven't registered the business in any fashion in Canada.

    Bottom Line: I can't tell you whether or not the use of the name in commerce that is the same as your own is an infringement of your rights. It may be, especially where the name is unique. However, you may end up having to spend more money to take them down than it is worth - or it's possible that a cease and desist letter from a lawyer may scare them out of business. For a case like this, only a legal consultation with a lawyer where all the facts can be ascertained will give you the answer you seek.
     
    mariabodmann likes this.

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