What to do if our company name is similar to another company that is located out of state?

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What to do if our company name is similar to another company that is located out of state?

We are a new non-skilled home health company awaiting our license from the state to provide non-skilled home care here .We have just received a call from a lawyer in another state about our website name. This lawyer represents a health system there and they are concerned our names are too closely aligned. We have not called back yet. What should our course of action be?

Asked on March 29, 2013 under Business Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If they have protected the name as a trade name, you would be in breach of their intellectual property; or even if it's not protected in that fashion, if they have been in business longer than you and do business in the territory in which you will do business, using their name (given the similarity of your businesses; both in health care) might constitute unfair competition. In either event, there is a reasonable chance they could force you to change your name; if you have not invested much in your name yet, you may wish to pre-emptively change it, to avoid litigation.


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