Yorba Linda, CA asked in Business Formation, Trademark and Intellectual Property for California

Q: If I am using Dali Llama Yoga for a business name, would there be an issue or conflict with the person Dalai Lama?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: There could potentially be some issues with using "Dali Llama Yoga" as a business name in California. While the spelling is slightly different, the name is very similar to the Dalai Lama, the religious leader of Tibetan Buddhism. This similarity could lead to a few potential legal concerns:

1. Trademark Infringement: If the Dalai Lama or associated organizations have registered trademarks related to his name, using a similar name for your business could be considered trademark infringement.

2. Right of Publicity: California has laws protecting an individual's right of publicity, which prevents the unauthorized commercial use of a person's name, likeness, or other recognizable aspects of their identity. Using a name similar to the Dalai Lama could potentially violate this right.

3. False Association or Endorsement: Using a name similar to the Dalai Lama could imply an association or endorsement by him, which could be considered misleading if no such connection exists.

4. Dilution: If the Dalai Lama's name is considered a famous mark, using a similar name could be seen as diluting the distinctiveness of the original name.

To avoid potential legal issues, it would be best to choose a different business name that does not resemble the name of a well-known public figure. If you do decide to proceed with "Dali Llama Yoga," it would be wise to consult with an attorney specializing in trademark and intellectual property law to assess the risks and help navigate any potential legal challenges.

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