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Can I get in trouble for using T.V show name for the name of my company California

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  • Can I get in trouble for using T.V show name for the name of my company California

    I was just wondering if I can be hassled down the road, if I name my business after a well known older T.V show? I don't think I would, but I am curious about this; because I don't want to get into trouble if there is a law about this. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    My advice is to check with the Secretary of State's Office to see if the name is reserved as a tradename, if it isn't there shouldn't be an issue.
    Not everything in America is actionable in a court of law. Please remember that attorneys are in business for profit, and they get paid regardless of whether or not you win or lose.

    I offer my knowledge and experience at no charge, I admit that I am NOT infallible, I am wrong sometimes, hopefully another responder will correct me if that is the case with the answer above, regardless, it is your responsibility to verify any and all information provided.

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    • #3
      Believe me, someone owns the rights to that shows name and product, and they have more money than you and can make your life miserable if they want to.

      If you are looking to make money off this name, you're looking for trouble. Check the U.S. Patent office for a tradename, etc. for the name you want to use. Even then, you're not safe if the name is so recognizable that people would naturally associate it with the show.
      I am not an attorney, and don't play one on TV. Any information given is a description only and should be verified by your attorney.

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      • #4
        In the town I grew up in, there was a business called "Mrs McDonalds Home Cooking". It was only open for breakfast and lunch. Standard lunch counter type place, a mom and pop blue plate special in an industrial park. They got sued by a major corporation with a similar name that specialized in hamburgers.

        The lawsuit was dropped when Mrs McD's attorney requested discovery on all menus in every company franchised location dating back to the start of the corporate business. His claim was that the menus were so dissimilar, that it was obvious Mrs McD's was not in any way, shape or form trying to copy the major corporation.

        The point is that nobody is free from getting hassled by a big business trying to protect a copyrighted name or phrase.

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        • #5
          In the case of a trademark, it's not just a matter of the trademark's owner being a bully. If the owner doesn't take steps to protect its trademark from infringing uses, it can lose the right to protect it at all. Today, intangible assets like copyrights, trademarks and patents are often the most valuable properties that a business owns. To fail to protect its intangible assets is economic suicide.

          So yes, if you use the name of a well-known TV show in your business name, you are probably asking for a fight. And you are likely to lose.
          David K. Staub (www.illinoisbusinessattorney.com)
          Forum posts are not legal advice, are for informational and educational purposes only, and are not a substitute for proper consultation with legal counsel.

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