How To Name Your Company So That You Don’t Get Sued

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Here is a story from the entrepreneur trenches with a not so happy ending. Last year I spoke with an entrepreneur who started an urban fashion and lifestyle magazine. In three years she took it from her bedroom side project to securing A-list interviews and major advertisers. It was amazing to see what she accomplished in a relatively short period of time.

Trademark Infringement

Ironically it was her rise to the top which ended her companies great run. Generally getting the attention of industry leaders would be considered a good thing. However in this case the attention came in the form of a cease and desist letter. A major magazine publisher felt the name of her magazine was too similar to one of their nationally distributed lifestyle magazines and would cause confusion among their customers. Unable to defend her company or fight back with a lawsuit she was forced to close up shop and her publishing mogul dreams ended prematurely.

Name Your Company The Right Way

Coming up with the right name for your company is a very personal decision. So after considering the personal relevance, marketing strategy and cool factor of your name you need to add in the legal factor. The legal factor means you must do a trademark search to see if any other company is using a similar name in the same category of business that you are in. If so then that name is off limits to you unless you want to risk getting a cease and desist letter.

Do A Trademark Search

To do a trademark search on your own you can go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office and search their trademark database for free. There are other trademark search services that will do a more comprehensive search for you and their fees range from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars. While no search is 100% reliable it is a mandatory step when naming your company. Ultimately the best way to protect yourself is to be as original as possible.

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About Author:

Mo Chanmugham, Esq

Mo Chanmugham, Esq. is a business attorney who specializes in working with entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry. After working for major record labels like Island Def Jam and Sony BMG he founded The Legal Studio to combine his passion for entertainment, personal development and entrepreneurship. His mission is to help artists and entrepreneurs reach their potential by designing businesses that align their personal and professional values to achieve lasting success. When he is not playing lawyer he is working on his own start up projects and dj’ing around NYC.

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1 Comment

  1. l2NyiP2TiwU7OE

    July 22, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    903760 228828I saw two other comparable posts although yours was the most beneficial so a whole lot 834361

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