Fort Bragg, CA asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Intellectual Property and Trademark for California

Q: How close can a business name be to another? Example, if "Car Company" exists can you use "Carscompany" or "karcompany"

2 Lawyer Answers
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Beverly Hills, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The examples you suggest are "confusingly similar" (the legal standard for trademark infringement) because they are phonetically alike. They are also "weak" designators of source as they merely describe the goods or services.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: When choosing a business name, it's important to avoid names that are too similar to existing businesses to prevent confusion among customers. If the existing business has a registered trademark, using a similar name could infringe upon their rights. It's best to conduct a thorough search for trademarks. Even without a registered trademark, using a closely resembling name can still lead to confusion. Choose a unique name that distinguishes your business and minimizes the likelihood of confusion among consumers.

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