Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Ohio

Accused of Trademark Infringment

My father is the president of a small building company. Recently the received a warning letter from a clothing company that shares one of the words in the company's name. The supposedly infringing word is a common first name, which my father's company follows with ''Custom Homes.'' The clothing company told them that they must change their name or they would be sued. Of the similarities between them, it pretty much comes down to the use of popular first name and the use of cursive in the name design. However, the clothing company is not happy when them just changing the look of their name, they must change the spelling of their name. Seeing as how their names are different and they are actually in different industries (the closest that the clothing company gets is selling home furnishings), should they have the right to make my father change their name?

Asked on 8/20/03, 2:16 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Lawrence Graves Coolidge & Graves PLLC

Re: Accused of Trademark Infringment

Don't run up the white flag without due investigation. You should consult with a trademark lawyer to ascertain whether there is any infringement at all, and also which company is the senior user of the mark if they are indeed confusingly similar.

Best wishes,


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Answered on 8/20/03, 2:20 pm
Michael Gallagher Gallagher & Dawsey Co., LPA

Re: Accused of Trademark Infringment

From the facts you describe, there may be no infringement and you may have a very defensible position. Definitely look into this before coming to any conclusions and before doing anything!

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Answered on 8/20/03, 5:01 pm
Regina Mullen Legal Data Services, PLC

Re: Accused of Trademark Infringment

Don't simply assume you have to change your name,--it's highly unlikely there is any sort of dilution of likelihood of confusion there since you're in different industries altogether. Fight for your right to use the name you've been usng all these years.

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Answered on 8/20/03, 5:04 pm

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