What’s in a Name, Part 2. (No, really, what’s in the name? The lawyers are asking…)

Ok, you read yesterday’s post, and have spent all night coming up with the perfect name for your business. Now what? Unfortunately, coming up with the name was the EASY part. Now you have to make sure that you can actually USE the name without running afoul of the law…

You need to find out three things about your proposed new name:

1) Has someone else already trademarked it, or are there other registrations already in use for that name, thus prohibiting you from using it?

2) Is the name that you have chosen eligible for registration with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), thus allowing you to protect that name from use by others?

3) Are there any common law trademark rights that your name might infringe upon?

The best way to start this research is to simply enter the name that you have chosen into a web search engine, and to review the results. This will tell you what others, if any, are already out there with the same – or similar – names. You should also search the USPTOs records (www.uspto.gov) to see what trademarks have been granted (and denied) around your chosen name. Your name does not have to be identical to an already existing, trademarked name, if it is so similar as to cause confusion with the consumer, then it is likely a no-go.

If this research sounds like too much, there are legal services available that specialize in patent and trademark issues that can help you. In the end, you just need to make sure that your name is actually YOUR name, and that it doesn’t already belong to someone else. Changing your name BEFORE you are sued is free, and free is good.

At One Fat Frog restaurant supply, we can’t help you with your name, but we CAN help you with everything else you will need for your restaurant start-up, expansion, or renovation. We offer all manner of restaurant equipment and supplies to meet every need and budget. Call or come in today to find out the latest in inventory and special deals.

One Fat Frog • 2416 Sand Lake Road • Orlando, FL 32809 • 407-480-3409