As a business owner, details count. You put a lot of effort, creativity, and market research into naming your business and developing your brand. Advertising and trying to get name recognition in the industry you operate and in the location you service is essential to your success. But what happens if you come to find that there is another company that has your same business name? Do you have any recourse?
Depending on the situation, a business may or may not be able to use your business name or one that is similar to it. It is essential that you know your legal rights when you are running a business. If you have questions about what you should do in this situation or if you have another legal question related to your California business, the Los Angeles business attorney at the Leiva Law Group can help.
Can Another California Business Take Your Business’s Name?
Your business name is your intellectual property and protecting intellectual property is incredibly important. Your business name can be one of the things that helps you stay competitive in the industry in which you operate your business. If you find out that another business is using a name that is very similar or exactly like yours, this could make you upset, and rightfully so. However, determining if you have a legal case to make against that business can be tricky which is why speaking with an attorney under these circumstances can be beneficial.
The reason that businesses generally are restricted from using the same name is because it can create consumer confusion. In other words, when a consumer knows about a specific business they may prefer to patronage it. However, if they attempt to do this but they mistakenly do so at another establishment with the same name, this is clearly not an honorable or fair thing to happen to that consumer.
Another reason why businesses have rules for choosing their names is due to the protections business owners must have concerning their intellectual property.
A business owner that is operating in a certain location and within a certain industry should generally not have another business equal to them, using their name, in that same area and that same profession. However, a business that is not located in the same location or that works in a completely different industry may have the right to use the same or similar name.
Looking at all of the details of a particular instance where one business shares another business’s name can be nuanced. It is not always a straightforward thing to determine when legal action is appropriate. This is one of the reasons why the Small Business Administration urges businesses to register their business name to safeguard it.
Speak to an Attorney at the Leiva Law
Protecting your business name is necessary. When it appears that another business has your name, then taking legal action may be the right way to remedy the situation.
Call the Leiva Law Firm today for more information and to schedule a free consultation at (818) 519-4465.