Can I force a business with a very similar name in the same industry and city to stop using the name?

I have owned and operated a business for over a year. The name is registered with the secretary of state. Recently a business in the same city and same industry has opened calling themselves almost the same name. Several of clients have visited this shop believing they were coming to a new location of my shop. In essence, I am losing customers to this new business because people believe it is me. Can I send them a cease and desist and follow with legal action?

Asked on November 9, 2011 under Business Law, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you believe that another business is using a similar name as yours and you were the first to use the name where there is confusion of people as to the two businesses, you can write a cease and desist letter to the other business under the theory of service/trade mark infringement.

I suggest that you consult with a business attorney experienced with service and trade marks to assist you in your situation.

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