Who has the right to the legal name for a business

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Who has the right to the legal name for a business

I have a website that I started a few months ago and received an email from another website claiming that they have been using the same name, but for a public access cable show on a small cable provider in my area. They claim to have been using the name since 2004. Although I own the domain name, I am currently searching to see if the name is currently registered in our state or not. If it is not, who would have the legal right to the name?

Asked on June 27, 2009 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Brian S Malkin / Malon Middleman

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Generally, the law protects the user of the tradename in the geographic area in which they use that name.  If the mark is registered under federal trademark law, then the owner of the mark is allowed to prevent other people from using the mark to sell goods or services that are similar to the owner's mark.  The issue is fairly complex.  Also there are specific rules that relate to domain name registration and trademark law.  There are procedures for the trademark owner to terminate the domain name.  The issue is not registration in the state but registration under federal law at the www.uspto.gov.  Good luck.


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